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Why's It Called The Outer Loop?

If you're a Louisville driver you might occasionally wonder why this road connecting southwest and southeast areas of the county is known as the Outer ``Loop''. Hopefully these excerpts from maps of Louisville printed in the 1960s, when the outer beltway now known as the Gene Snyder Freeway (KY 841, most portions also signed as I-265) was starting to be a proposal, might shed some light or at least provide amusement.

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This excerpt from a 1961 Gousha map of Louisville indicates that an original proposal for the outer beltway around Louisville was going to connect to the existing Cross-County Highway (now known as Outer Loop). Since then they decided to build a new alignment parallel to and south of the Cross-County Highway (as the current alignment of the Snyder is), but somehow the Cross-County became Outer Loop anyway.

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This comes from a 1964 Rand McNally map of Louisville. As of 1964 one portion of this Outer Loop was already open, providing a detour for I-64 traffic to Shelbyville Road until I-64 was completed closer to Louisville. The cloverleaf interchange between I-64 and the now Gene Snyder Freeway still exists in its original form as of December 2000.

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