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Interstate 65 shield
Interstate 65
Main route of the Interstate Highway System
Length: 887.30 mi[1] (1,427.97 km)
South end: I-10 in Mobile, AL
Major
junctions:
I-85 in Montgomery, AL
I-20 / I-59 in Birmingham, AL
I-40 in Nashville, TN
I-64 in Louisville, KY
I-70 I-74 in Indianapolis, IN
I-80 / I-94 in Gary, IN
North end: I-90 / US 12 / US 20 in Gary, IN

Interstate 65 (I-65) is a major Interstate Highway in the United States. The southern terminus is located at an intersection with Interstate 10 in Mobile, Alabama, and its northern terminus is at a traffic light with U.S. Route 12 and U.S. Route 20 (Dunes Highway) in Gary, Indiana, southeast of Chicago, Illinois.[2]

I-65 is humorously known as Auto Alley because of the large number of automotive OEM and supplier firms that have facilities within an hour's drive of the highway (questionable). Of these, the most notable are the Subaru plant in Lafayette, Indiana, the Hyundai plant in Montgomery County, Alabama, the General Motors Corporation plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the Mercedes Benz plant in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, and the Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Contents

Route description

Lengths
  mi[1] km
AL 367.00 590.63
TN 121.71 195.87
KY 137.32 221.00
IN 261.27 420.47
Total 887.30 1427.97
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Alabama

Interstate 65 begins its journey in Mobile at its junction with Interstate 10. From I-10, I-65 goes west of downtown Mobile and through its northern suburbs before turning northeast toward Montgomery. From the state's capital, I-65 doglegs northwards, bypassing Prattville and Clanton before going through Greater Birmingham. From exit 246 to 290 the highway carries at least six lanes of traffic. A portion of the interstate running through Birmingham has been nicknamed "Malfunction Junction" for its numerous wrecks. These accidents include two separate occasions of the support beams melting after crashes by 18-wheelers, and the numerous collisions that happen every year, result from the converging of Interstates I-20/I-59.

In the case of an hurricane evacuation on Alabama's coast, I-65 can be converted to an evacuation route where all lanes flow in the northbound direction from Mobile to Montgomery.

From Birmingham, I-65 continues north towards Cullman and Decatur. Just north of downtown Birmingham, two major interstate highway projects are in varying stages of work. Interstate 22 will connect to I-65 at the new exit 265. Construction on the interchange is expected to begin in August 2009. Preliminary roadwork to widen I-65 on either side of the new interchange has been ongoing since 2007. Interstate 22 will provide a direct link between Birmingham and Memphis.

Just a few miles north of I-22 will be the new interchange (exit 274)which will be the Corridor X-1 and has been designated as Interstate 422. This loop route will connect I-65 with I-59 northeast of Birmingham and I20/59 southwest of Birmingham and will serve as a interstate bypass of Birmingham augmenting the existing Interstate 459 which already provides the southern loop of Birmingham. Construction of this interchange is still several years away, but right of way is in the process of being acquired to build I-422.

At Decatur, motorists can take Interstate 565 towards Huntsville.

From Decatur, the highway continues northward through Athens, Alabama to the Tennessee state line.

In 2004, following the death of President Ronald Reagan, a lengthy segment of I-65 from Jefferson County to Limestone County was designated "The Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway". The sign designating the north end of the segment includes a statement from Reagan's speech at Point Mallard Aquatic Center in nearby Decatur on July 4, 1984.

The Hyundai Corporation's new automotive plant in Montgomery is located just off I-65. It can be accessed using the Pintlala-Hope Hull exit (number 164).

The Mercedes Benz plant in Tuscaloosa County can also be accessed by taking the I-59 / I-20 south/west exit at the interchange in Birmingham.

The Kia Corporation is currently building a plant that will be less than an hour's drive away from the Interstate on the Alabama-Georgia border.

The entire Alabama portion of I-65 is dedicated as "Heroes Highway,"[3] in honor of the C.I.A. Officer, Johnny "Mike" Spann, and all of the people who died during the September 11 attacks.

Near the northern border of Alabama with Tennessee on southbound I-65 is located the Alabama Welcome Center and rest area. The unique feature of this rest area compared to others is the existence of a large rocket on the site referring to Alabama's and in particular Huntsville's contribution to U.S. space exploration.

Tennessee

Interstate 65 southbound in Nashville.

I-65 enters Tennessee from the south near the town of Ardmore, and passes through mostly rural territory for 65 miles (105 km). Its first city in Tennessee is Franklin. Then the route travels through Brentwood, Tennessee, downtown Nashville, Madison, Goodlettsville, White House, and exits near Portland into Kentucky to the north.

Kentucky

Interstate 65 northbound at the William H. Natcher Parkway in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The signs are new and in Clearview font.

Interstate 65 enters the state five miles (8 km) south of Franklin. It passes by the major cities of Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, and Louisville before exiting the state.

Throughout its length, it passes near Mammoth Cave National Park, Diamond Caverns, Bernheim Forest, the National Corvette Museum, and the Fort Knox Military Reservation.

I-65 has intersections with four of the parkways. The first major junction is with the William H. Natcher Parkway at Bowling Green, followed by the Cumberland Parkway north of the city between Smiths Grove and Park City. At Elizabethtown, it has two more parkway interchanges with the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway and the Martha Layne Collins Bluegrass Parkway. Interstate 65 also has interchanges with I-265, I-264, I-64, and I-71.

The widest stretch of Interstate 65 in its entirety is in Louisville at the Kentucky Route 1065 (Outer Loop), where the main line is 14 lanes wide. The highway crosses the Ohio River into Indiana on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge.

At one time, the stretch of I-65 from Louisville to Elizabethtown was a toll road bearing the Kentucky Turnpike name. The bonds that financed the road have been paid off, and tolls are no longer collected. All signs of the former turnpike have been removed.

On November 15, 2006, the stretch of I-65 from Bowling Green to Louisville was renamed the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Highway.

On February 12, 2007, a bill passed the Kentucky Senate to rename I-65 in Jefferson County, Kentucky the "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway".[4] Signs were posted July 25, 2007.[5]

On July 15, 2007, Kentucky highway officials raised its speed limits on Interstate and State Parkway highways to 70 miles per hour (110 km/h). Until that date, Kentucky was the only state along I-65's path that had a speed limit of 65 mph (105 km/h).

Both of the Ford Motor Company truck plants in Louisville are accessible—The Explorer SUV plant is directly accessible from I-65 while the Kentucky Truck Plant, makers of the F-350 and Excursion SUV, is accessed via I-265.

In Bowling Green, I-65 comes within the proximity of a General Motors Corporation plant that makes the Chevrolet Corvette sports car, as well as the Cadillac XLR luxury roadster.

Indiana

Interstate 65 just outside Indianapolis, Indiana

Interstate 65 enters the Hoosier state at Jeffersonville and Clarksville.

The section of Interstate 65 in downtown Indianapolis overlaps Interstate 70. The junctions are often referred to as the "North Split" and the "South Split", forming a section of interstate locally known as the "Inner Loop" or "Spaghetti Bowl" due to the visual complexity of the overlapping freeways.

In mid-March 2007, a six-mile (10 km) section of Interstate 70 from the North Split to Interstate 465 east of downtown was restricted to automobiles only for the "Super 70" project, a massive rebuild and expansion of that freeway. Trucks over 13 tons are forced to divert through Interstate 65 if coming from the north and use the circular Interstate 465 to the south to reconnect to Interstate 70 East. Westbound traffic from Interstate 70 must loop north or south along Interstate 465 to get to Interstates 65 or 70. The Super 70 project was completed in November 2007.

In the summer of 2003, the portion of Interstate 65 that runs concurrently with Interstate 70 was closed to all traffic due to the "HyperFix" project. During that time, a new asphalt surface was installed and the overpasses were upgraded.

In 1999, the 25 mile (40 km) segment of Interstate 65 between the two Interstate 465 interchanges was renamed the Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds Highway.

Upon crossing into Lake County, Indiana, over the Kankakee River, the highway is known as the Casimir Pulaski Memorial Highway. It is known as this from that point to its northern terminus.

The northern terminus of Interstate 65 is only 1/8 mile (0.2 km) north of Interstate 90 (Indiana Toll Road). Prior to 2004, the interchange from Interstate 90 to Interstate 65 required making a physical left turn onto Interstate 65 via a traffic signal. Traffic from Interstate 65 to Interstate 90 bypassed the traffic signal via an isolated right-turn lane. It has since been grade-separated.

Major intersections

The future Interstate 22 will join and cross over I-65 before terminating at US 31 just a few blocks away. The target date for the completion of the final sections of the new route is 2012. However, Alabama Highway Department officials have been pushing for a 2010 completion time.

Auxiliary routes

See also

References

Main Interstate Highways (major interstates highlighted)
4 5 8 10 12 15 16 17 19 20 22 24 25 26 27 29 30
35 37 39 40 43 44 45 49 55 57 59 64 65 66 68 69
70 71 72 73 74 75 76 (W) 76 (E) 77 78 79 80 81 82
83 84 (W) 84 (E) 85 86 (W) 86 (E) 87 88 (W) 88 (E) 89 90
91 93 94 95 96 97 99 (238) H-1 H-2 H-3
Unsigned  A-1 A-2 A-3 A-4 PRI-1 PRI-2 PRI-3
Lists  Primary  Main - Intrastate - Suffixed - Future - Gaps
Auxiliary  Main - Future - Unsigned
Other  Standards - Business - Bypassed

Redirecting to Interstate 65


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