Toll No More
Cumberland Parkway


The Cumberland Parkway had three toll plazas on the mainline highway, plus a set of toll ramps at Exit 78 for traffic entering the parkway eastbound from KY 80, or exiting from the parkway westbound onto KY 80.

Mainline toll plazas were located at Mile Marker 3, just east of the highway's western terminus at I-65; at Exit 27 (US 68/KY 80 at Edmonton); and at Exit 62 (US 127 for Jamestown and Russell Springs).

At the two plazas at the exits, cloverleaf interchanges were used. Traffic exiting stopped under the bridge, paid the appropriate toll, then looped around the exit ramp. Similarly, traffic entering the toll road had to stop under the bridge and pay toll before continuing on the parkway. Identical designs were used for both exit plazas.


This photo from several years ago (late 1990s) shows the Edmonton toll plaza. The left lane has an unmanned booth for thru-traffic passenger vehicles with exact change only. The center lane's booth could be either manned or unmanned, and the sign on the bridge above the booth was changeable. In this photo, it reads "Thru Cars 80 ¢ Exact Change No Trailers," the same as the sign for the left lane. The sign above the right lane reads "All Other Vehicles" and that booth was always staffed. Traffic using that lane included trucks, cars with trailers, thru cars without exact change and exit/entrance traffic.

All photos on this page, except the one above, taken June 7, 2003.

Nancy Toll Ramps

Nancy is a small community in western Pulaski County. The toll booths on the ramps were not staffed and required exact change, and were tolled so that the state could collect money from motorists who wanted to use the Cumberland Parkway, instead of KY 80, to travel to the county seat of Somerset.

This photo shows the empty signposts on the westbound parkway, where information on the toll ramp was previously posted. The sign read "20 Cents Cars 20 Cents -- Do Not Exit Without Exact Coins -- No Change Made."

Contractors had already demolished the unattended toll booth as of Saturday, June 7. This is the spot where the booth used to be. You can tell the spot from the concrete pavement and the wide shoulder on the left where the booth actually sat.

These blank signposts are on KY 80 eastbound, just as you get ready to cross the bridge over the parkway. No doubt they contained information on the toll required to be paid before motorists could enter the parkway.

Russell Springs Toll Plaza

These photos are from the toll plaza at the US 127 exit. At the time they were taken, the left two lanes of the parkway were closed, leaving only the rightmost lane open. A posted speed limit of 25 mph was in effect. These views are all looking west from the westbound lanes.

These posts used to support a yellow guide sign reading,"Stop Ahead Pay Toll." The sign had been removed but the flashing yellow lights were still operational.

This wide-angle view shows the entire overpass with the three booths for each direction. Note that the signs directing traffic into each lane have been removed, but they were identical to the signs shown in the photo near the top of the page.

This view gives a more close-up view of the westbound plaza. The collection baskets had already been removed but the red-green "stop-go" light past the booth was still up and operational, as can be noted by the perpetual green light just past the booth for the right lane.


This view from the right shoulder gives another angle.

"Toll Free" signs were installed in the booths and the baskets were removed, and the signal light was set to stay on green. At this booth, for the right lane, an attendant made change or collected money from vehicles with more than two axles. Typically, if you were entering or exiting the parkway, you told the attendant so and he or she punched up the amount due on a flashing message board beside the collection basket. Having done this ritual many times at Exit 33 on the Mountain Parkway, I always said "just got on" or "getting off" when entering or exiting.

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Copyright © 2003, H.B. Elkins
This page created June 17, 2003
This page last modified June 17 2003.