Mason County and then Maysville have prospered because of their superior access to transportation. Initially the Ohio River and the buffalo trace into central Kentucky supported local growth. The National Road was planned to connected Cumberland Maryland and Nashville Tennessee and ran through Maysville/Mason County near the current route of US 68. That “National Road” and the Ohio River helped bring a cotton mill to Maysville in 1834. Transportation improved with the arrival of two railroad’s arrival, and construction of a highway bridge across the Ohio River.
The USA long-distance transportation paradigm began to shift with the construction of the Interstate Highway. In recent decades KY Department of Highways built the excellent AA east/west highway and upgraded the roads to Flemingsburg and Lexington. However, the closest Interstate Highway in Morehead, KY is still 42 miles from Maysville. There is very low probability an interstate will pass though Maysville/Mason County in the foreseeable future.
The Kentucky Department of Transportation gives these Average Daily Traffic 2020 Counts on the major roads to/from Mason County.
Examining the 2020 Average Daily Traffic Counts of nearby Interstate Highways demonstrates the scale of traffic through Mason County
Our other county and state roads, used for local transportation, have mostly stayed the same since the 1950s, even though farm machinery is bigger and new rural housing along road frontages has increased traffic.
Modern farm equipment on a State Highway with a 1,383 Average Daily Traffic 2020 Count
The next Comprehensive Plan must find ways to increase the tax base available to maintain/improve local roads with new enterprises that:
- Protects our topsoil for future generations.
- Reduces chemical pollution in local watersheds.
- On rural land, large-scale solar arrays place little to no long-term burden on our local community facilities, including services and infrastructure
- Increase the real estate tax base to support local services.
- Increase the number of local high-value job opportunities.
- Helps replace the $64 million of lost tobacco and dairy income
- Protect the land from creeping urbanization