U.S. Route 25E

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U.S. Route 25E marker

U.S. Route 25E
Route information
Auxiliary route of US 25
Maintained by KYTC and TDOT
Length 114 mi[citation needed] (183 km)
Existed November 26, 1926 (1926-11-26)[1] – present
Major junctions
South end US 25 / US 25W / US 70 in Newport, TN

US 58 at Cumberland Gap, TN

US 25 / US 25W in North Corbin, KY
North end I-75 in North Corbin, KY
States Tennessee, Kentucky
Counties TN: Cocke, Jefferson, Hamblen, Grainger, Claiborne
KY: Bell, Knox, Laurel
Highway system


U.S. Route 25E (US 25E) is the eastern branch of U.S. Route 25 from Newport, Tennessee, where US 25 splits into US 25E and US 25W, to North Corbin, Kentucky, where the two highways rejoin. The road, however, continues as US 25E for roughly 2 miles (3.2 km) until it joins Interstate 75 in North Corbin.

All of US 25E in Tennessee is now the East Tennessee Crossings Byway, a National Scenic Byway.[2] A portion of US 25E in Tennessee is also designated as Appalachian Development Corridor S. The corridor follows US 25E between I-81 in White Pine and State Route 63 (Corridor F) in Harrogate.[3]

US 25E has been included in the U.S. Highway System since the system's inception in 1926.

Route description[edit]


Warning signs along U.S. 25E approaching Cumberland Gap Tunnel

Northbound US 25 and westbound US 70 leave Newport concurrent with one another. At an intersection west of town, US 25 splits into two highways: US 25E, which heads north from this point, and US 25W, which continues west along US 70.

US 25E crosses over Douglas Lake south of Baneberry. Between White Pine and Witt, the highway has an interchange with Interstate 81 (exit 8). North of the Interstate, the road widens out to four lanes, and receives the Appalachian Development designation "Corridor S". US 25E intersects US 11E east of Morristown. It then crosses Cherokee Lake.

Near Bean Station, US 25E joins US 11W. The two roads split 3 miles (4.8 km) west of Bean Station, and US 25E continues northwest to Tazewell.[4]

Northwest of Tazewell, the road bridges the Powell River, and then passes through Harrogate. In the town of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, US 25E serves as the western terminus of US 58. US 25E used that highway en route to the Cumberland Gap prior to 1996, however, it now uses a new highway leading to the Cumberland Gap Tunnel, freeing up a portion of road that US 58 now uses. US 25E then passes through the tunnel, emerging on the other side in Kentucky.


The Kentucky side of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel.

US 25E remains a multilane divided highway for its entire extent in Kentucky.[5] Upon departing the tunnel, the road heads west to the town of Middlesboro, Kentucky, where it intersects KY 74. US 25E turns north at Middlesboro toward Pineville, the county seat of Bell County. In Pineville, the route is the western terminus of US 119.

US 25E departs Pineville and heads northwest, indirectly serving Tinsley via KY 92, crossing into Knox County, and bypassing Flat Lick to the west. The route makes an S-shaped curve, dipping south then turning back northwest as it approaches Barbourville. After serving the east side of Barbourville, the highway passes near Heidrick and runs through Baileys Switch.

Between Baileys Switch and Gray, US 25E gradually turns more east–west. After running through Gray, the route serves as the northern terminus of KY 3041. The road then reunites with US 25W north of Corbin, and the unsuffixed US 25 continues to points north. However, the US 25E designation continues west to Interstate 75, where it ends at Exit 29.[6]


Old US 25E sign in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee directing traffic to the former route over Cumberland Gap.

Before the Cumberland Gap Tunnel was opened in 1996, US 25E passed through the Cumberland Gap in Virginia. Prior to the U.S. highway system's arrival, Virginia's State Highway 10 began at the Cumberland Gap and proceeded to Bristol.[7] A short spur south to Tennessee was soon added,[citation needed] becoming State Route 107 in the 1923 renumbering and State Route 100 in the 1928 renumbering.[8]

Early U.S. Highway planning assigned the number U.S. Route 411 to SR 10 through Cumberland Gap to Kentucky, and no number to SR 107.[9] By the final 1926 plan, US 411 was truncated to Cumberland Gap, and US 25E ran from Tennessee to Kentucky along SR 10 and SR 107.[1] The State Route numbers were dropped in the 1933 renumbering.

The Cumberland Gap Tunnel opened in 1996, completely bypassing Cumberland Gap and Virginia. U.S. Route 58 was moved to a new alignment, meeting US 25E in Tennessee, and US 25E was decommissioned through Virginia. As it lay within the boundaries of the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, the National Park Service now controls the former road, and decided to return it to its pre-pavement state. The pavement was torn up, and old US 25E is now a dirt path.[10]

Major intersections[edit]

TennesseeCockeNewport0.00.0 US 25 south / US 25W north / US 70 (SR 9 / SR 32 south / SR 35) to I-40 – Newport, Dandridge, Sevierville
Jefferson9.515.3 SR 341 west
White Pine11.117.9 SR 113 south – Dandridgesouth end of SR 113 overlap
Hamblen13.020.9 I-81 – Knoxville, BristolI-81 exit 8
Morristown14.823.8 SR 343 north (Old US Highway 25E)
15.524.9 SR 113 northnorth end of SR 113 overlap
17.127.51 SR 160Interchange
19311ACollege Square Drive/College Park DriveInterchange
19.531.42A US 11E south (Morris Boulevard / SR 34) – MorristownInterchange; south end of US 11E / SR 34 overlap
19.831.92B US 11E north (East A.J. Highway / SR 34) – Greeneville, MorristownInterchange; north end of US 11E / SR 34 overlap
22.335.9 SR 343 south – Morristown Central Business Districtinterchange
GraingerBean Station26.242.2 SR 375 south (Lake Shore Road)
29.347.2 US 11W north (SR 1) – Rogersvilleinterchange; south end of US 11W / SR 1 overlap
31.250.2 US 11W south (SR 1) – Rutledge, Knoxvilleinterchange; north end of US 11W / SR 1 overlap
38.662.1 SR 131 – Washburn, Thorn Hill
Claiborne45.573.2 SR 33 north – Sneedvillesouth end of SR 33 overlap
Tazewell50.881.8 SR 33 south – New Tazewell, Maynardville, Knoxvillenorth end of SR 33 overlap
51.382.6 SR 345 north (Cedar Fork)
Harrogate60.296.9 SR 63 eastsouth end of SR 63 overlap
60.497.2 SR 63 west – LaFollettenorth end of SR 63 overlap
61.298.5 US 58 east (SR 383) – Cumberland Gap, TN, Jonesville, VAinterchange
Cumberland Gap65.9
Cumberland Gap Tunnel
KentuckyBellCumberland Gap NHP1.3432.161Cumberland Gap National Park Visitor Center & Craft Shopinterchange
Middlesboro1.7192.766 KY 74 west – Airport
KY 441 west / KY 74 Truck west
6.32210.174 KY 3486 south
6.40210.303 KY 188 east
Ferndale8.31313.378 KY 1534 north
8.90014.323 KY 3151 east
11.60418.675 KY 190 west – Chenoa, Frakes, Pine Mountain State Resort Park
Pineville12.35519.883 US 119 north – Harlan, Martins Fork Lake
13.46021.662 KY 66 north to KY 221 – Red Bird Mission
14.20022.853 KY 2015 north
17.36027.938 KY 2014 east
17.57628.286 KY 92 west – Williamsburg, Whitley City
Knox19.07530.698 KY 3085 south
20.30932.684 KY 3085 north
21.54334.670 KY 930 west
21.70934.937 KY 3085 south – Flat Lick
22.47136.164 KY 223 north – Dewitt
24.08138.755 KY 3439 west
25.58141.169 KY 1304 north to KY 11 – Bimble
Barbourville26.68442.944 KY 3153 west
27.41844.125 KY 2415 north
28.47045.818 KY 225 south / KY 3439 east
29.43947.377 KY 11 south – Barbourvillesouth end of KY 11 overlap
29.59647.630 KY 2420 west – Downtown Barbourville
30.20548.610 KY 11 north – Manchesternorth end of KY 11 overlap
30.81149.585 KY 1487 south
31.20650.221 KY 2418 south
32.61052.481 KY 3438 east
33.12453.308 KY 229 north – London
34.43755.421 KY 1527 east
40.36664.963 KY 233 – Gray
42.22767.958 KY 830
Corbin42.87268.996 KY 3041 south to I-75 south
44.30171.296 KY 312 west
44.59371.765 KY 1629
LaurelNorth Corbin45.19272.729 US 25 north / US 25W south – Airport
45.70373.552 KY 3431 to KY 1223
I-75 / KY 770 west – Knoxville, LexingtonI-75 exit 29
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Popular culture[edit]

The northern section of US 25E from the Kentucky State line to Tazewell, along with the junctioning Tennessee SR-33 between Tazewell and Knoxville, were the inspiration for the song "The Ballad of Thunder Road", in which a moonshiner runs illegal whiskey from Kentucky to Tennessee along this route.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b United States System of Highways Adopted for Uniform Marking by the American Association of State Highway Officials (Map). 1:7,000,000. Cartography by U.S. Geological Survey. Bureau of Public Roads. November 11, 1926. OCLC 32889555. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ O'Neil, Duay (October 20, 2009). "Hwy 25 East is Now a National Scenic Byway". The Newport Plain Talk. 
  3. ^ ADHS Approved Corridors and Termini Archived November 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Eastern Tennessee" (Map). The Road Atlas (2008 Large Scale ed.). Rand McNally. p. 193. 
  5. ^ Official Highway Map (Map) (2008 ed.). Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. 
  6. ^ a b "HIS Official Milepoint Route Log Report (Laurel County)". Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Retrieved January 19, 2010. 
  7. ^ State Highway Commission of Virginia (July 5, 1922). Minutes of the First Meeting of the State Highway Commission Created Under the Acts of 1922 (PDF) (Report). Richmond, VA: Commonwealth of Virginia. , Proposed "State Highway System" for Virginia, as Recommended by the State Roads Committee, January 1918
  8. ^ "VA 100". Virginia Highways Project. [self-published source]
  9. ^ Secretary of Agriculture (November 18, 1925). Report of Joint Board on Interstate Highways, October 30, 1925 (Report). US Department of Agriculture. 
  10. ^ Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Map (PDF) (Map). National Park Service. 
  11. ^ Google (January 19, 2010). "U.S. Route 25E" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 19, 2010. 
  12. ^ "HIS Official Milepoint Route Log Report (Bell County)". Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Retrieved January 19, 2010. 
  13. ^ "HIS Official Milepoint Route Log Report (Knox County)". Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Retrieved January 19, 2010. 

External links[edit]