State Route 15 in Kentucky


Get started Whitesburg
End Winchester
Length 131 mi
Length 211 km



Clay City


State Route 15 or KY-15 is a state route in the U.S. state of Kentucky. The road forms a north-south route in the east of the state, from Whitesburg via Hazard to Winchester. The route leads through the mountains of the Appalachian Mountains and is 211 kilometers long.

  • SEARCHFORPUBLICSCHOOLS: Provides a list of all public primary and high schools in Kentucky, including street address, contact phone, and zip code for each school.

Travel directions

KY-15 begins in Whitesburg on US 119, not far from the Virginia border. KY-15 then follows a winding and mostly single-lane route through the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. This region has few larger towns, but mainly small villages and mines. Four lanes are available on some short stretches, but the majority is single-lane. Near the regional town of Hazard is a bypass, partly with 2×2 lanes, which also provides a connection to the Hal Rogers Parkway.

This is followed by another long and winding route through the forested mountain regions of eastern Kentucky. This route also has few larger towns. From Campton, the Mountain Parkway runs parallel to KY-15, which is therefore of local importance on this section. The road gradually heads up the hills and enters more open rural areas. One then reaches the small town of Winchester, where KY-15 terminates at US 60, about 20 miles east of the larger city of Lexington.

  • USPRIVATESCHOOLSFINDER.COM: Provides a list of all private primary and elementary schools in Kentucky, including street address, contact phone, and zip code for each school.


The road number is based on a 1920s system where even routes formed north-south routes. The road formed an important route for mining after the Second World War. Southeastern Kentucky is an important mining area but was not opened up in the Interstate Highways plan. As early as 1963, the Mountain Parkway between Campton and Winchester opened as a toll road parallel to KY-15.

In 1965, the Appalachian Development Highway System was created, a network of upgradeable roads in the Appalachian Mountains. State Route 15 here became part of Corridor I, which runs from Lexington to Whitesburg. The road was upgraded point by point in the decades that followed, but it never came to an integral upgrade.

One of the biggest upgrades to date is Hazard’s bypass, which opened in the 1970s. In 2021, a small section of KY-15 between Hazard and the Hal Rogers Parkway will be widened to 2×2 lanes. Previously one of the busiest two-lane roads in eastern Kentucky.

Another major upgrade is north of Jackson, where the five-mile road has been upgraded to 2×2 lanes on a new track. The northern half of this opened in 2008, the southern part in 2014.

In 2013, a study was conducted for the section between Hazard and Campton, which recommended $450 million worth of upgrades.

US Grant Bridge

US Grant Bridge
Spans Ohio River
Lanes 2×1
Total length 657 meters
Main span 267 meters
Bridge deck height 17 meters
Opening 1927 / 10/16/2006
Traffic intensity ? mvt/day
Location Map

The US Grant Bridge is a cable- stayed bridge in the United States, located near Portsmouth on the border of the states of Ohio and Kentucky.


The US Grant Bridge spans the Ohio River near Portsmouth, Ohio. The cable- stayed bridge has a total length of 657 meters and a main span of 267 meters. The layout of the bridge length is 140 + 267 + 107 meters. The bridge has two pylons that stand in the middle of the deck and are 89 meters high. The bridge deck is 20 meters wide, with one lane and one lane in each direction. The bridge deck is 17 meters above the Ohio River. Over the bridge runs US 23 in Kentucky and US 23 in Ohio. It is one of two bridges over the Ohio at Portsmouth.


The first bridge at this location was a suspension bridge that opened to traffic in 1927. This was a toll road until 1974. In 1988 the Carl Perkins Bridge opened, relieving the US Grant Bridge of through traffic.

The bridge was in poor condition and was renovated several times between 1977 and 1996. In 1992, a study was conducted by the state of Ohio to see whether the bridge needed further renovation to extend its life, or whether a new bridge would be cheaper in the long run. The latter turned out to be the case. In 2001, the bridge was closed to traffic, and traffic was diverted via the Carl Perkins Bridge for 5 years. The new bridge was built between 2001 and 2006, which opened on October 16, 2006. The replacement cost $28 million, only slightly more than the renovation of the old bridge would have cost.

State Route 15 in Kentucky