Kentucky Route 9

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AA Highway

Alexandria to Ashland Highway
KY 9 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by KYTC
Length116.285 mi[1] (187.143 km)
Major junctions
South end KY 1 / KY 7 in Grayson
Major intersections
North end KY 8 in Newport
CountryUnited States
CountiesCarter, Lewis, Mason, Bracken, Pendleton, Campbell
Highway system
KY 8 KY 10

The AA Highway is a 116.285-mile-long (187.143 km) state highway maintained by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in the U.S. Commonwealth of Kentucky. The highway extends from Grayson to Newport (a city in Kentucky across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Ohio), roughly paralleling the Ohio River between Vanceburg and Newport.

Most of its path, from Grayson to the Interstate 275 loop in Wilder, is also known as the AA Highway (officially, the John Y. Brown Jr. AA Highway). KY 10 forms a branch of the AA Highway between Vanceburg and the Jesse Stuart Memorial Bridge in Grays Branch, near Greenup. Its name is a contraction of the earlier name Alexandria to Ashland Highway.[2]

Route description

The AA Highway follows a general northwest–southeast orientation. For most of its length, the AA Highway is a two lane road that passes through a sparsely populated rural area of Northern Kentucky. While the highway passes through terrain that is rolling to hilly, the highway is generally level with moderate grades and no steep grades. Except for Carter County, all counties that the AA Highway passes through border the Ohio River. The only municipalities on the highway are Vanceburg and Maysville and suburban areas of Cincinnati at its western terminus. Those areas are also the only areas with any services used by motorists such as motels, gas stations, restaurants, convenience stores, etc. The only traffic signals on the AA Highway are near Maysville (along a commercial strip with many retail establishments and restaurants), suburban Cincinnati, and at its eastern terminus just north of Interstate 64 near Grayson. There are no rest areas on the AA Highway. Other than the portions that traverse the edge of Maysville and enter suburban Cincinnati, there are no shopping centers or major retail stores along the AA Highway.

While the AA highway is not an expressway, it nonetheless serves as the shortest highway link between Cincinnati and Ashland, Kentucky. As such, it provides a link between Cincinnati and other Midwestern cities such as Chicago, Indianapolis, and Dayton and cities south and east of Ashland such as Huntington and Charleston in West Virginia, Charlottesville and Richmond in Virginia, and Charlotte and Winston-Salem in North Carolina.

High accident rate

The AA Highway is a rural two-lane highway for most of its length and traverses through some desolate terrain.[3] Driver inattention and speeding, in combination with the numerous side road entrances and at-grade intersections have made it a dangerous and deadly road. To address these issues, guide signs comparable to interstate-styled signs have been installed along the highway at major intersections, along with additional overhead lighting. Other measures to improve safety and increase capacity are under consideration.


The AA Highway was envisioned as a modern highway from Alexandria to Ashland.[4]

Construction began in 1985 on the first segment of the AA Highway.[4] Estimated to cost $266 million to complete, it was designed primarily as a two-lane controlled-access facility. The first phase included the construction of 86 miles (138 km) of the AA Highway from the junction of Interstate 275 and Licking Pike (existing KY 9) in Campbell County east to Vanceburg. The first phase also included the design of two twenty-five mile-long spurs running east from Vanceburg, one ending at US 23 near Lloyd and the Jesse Stuart Memorial Bridge, the other ending near Interstate 64 in Grayson.

A view of KY9/10 entering Maysville at the intersection of KY9/10 with U.S. 68 & U.S. 62

When construction began, the costs for the first phase had risen to $292.7 million;[4] the state had sold $300 million in bonds to pay for it. Segments of the highway, from Clarksburg just west of Vanceburg to Tollesboro was routed on an earlier relocated alignment of KY 10.

It officially opened in 1995; however, it was not formally dedicated until 2003.

AA Highway/KY 10 in Greenup County, Kentucky
AA Highway/KY 10 in Greenup County, Kentucky

Numbering quagmire

The AA Highway including the Greenup spur was originally designated as KY 546, and the Grayson spur was signed as KY 694. On May 26, 1988, the designation, "AA Highway," was proposed to be signed along with KY 546 and KY 694. A few years later, this designation was put in place with the AA Highway being co-signed with KY 546 and KY 694, however, many motorists were soon confused by the ever-changing designations.

To solve this issue, the AA Highway was renumbered in late 1995. The AA Highway including the Grayson spur was renumbered KY 9, and the Greenup spur was renumbered as KY 10. KY 10 also overlaps portions of the AA Highway throughout the entire highway's existence. Old KY 9 in Campbell county was renumbered as KY 915, and old KY 10 between Vanceburg and South Portsmouth was redesignated as KY 8.

Major intersections

KY 1 / KY 7 to I-64 – Grayson, Greenbo Lake State Resort Park, Grayson Lake State Park
Southern terminus
1.0781.735 KY 1959
KY 7 south
Southern end of KY 7 overlap
KY 7 north – Carter City
Northern end of KY 7 overlap
11.32418.224 KY 2 / KY 7 – Carter City
KY 1773 east
Northern terminus of KY 1773
KY 1149 south
Southern end of KY 1149 overlap
KY 1306 north
Western terminus of KY 1306

KY 10 (AA Hwy.) east – South Shore, Greenup, Ashland
Southern end of KY 10 overlap
KY 1149 north
Northern end of KY 1149 overlap
Vanceburg29.46747.423 KY 59 – Olive Hill, Vanceburg
KY 2523 north
Southern terminus of KY 2523
KY 3037 north
Southern terminus of KY 3037
KY 989 south
Northern terminus of KY 989
KY 10 west
Northern end of KY 10 overlap
46.64275.063 KY 57 – Flemingsburg, Tollesboro
KY 1234 east
Southern end of KY 1234 overlap
50.07880.593 KY 1237
KY 1234 west
Northern end of KY 1234 overlap
KY 3161 north
Southern terminus of KY 3161
53.26185.715 KY 1449 – Orangeburg
55.95590.051 KY 3313
KY 1448 east
Southern end of KY 1448 overlap
KY 11 / KY 1448 west – Flemingsburg, Maysville
Northern end of KY 1448 overlap
58.45194.068 KY 1448

US 62 / US 68 Bus. / KY 10 east – Lexington, Maysville
south end of KY 10 overlap
61.87599.578 US 68 – Lexington, Aberdeen, OH, Ripley, OHinterchange
KY 3056 east
Western terminus of KY 3056
KY 10 west – Germantown
Northern end of KY 10 overlap
66.545107.094 KY 435 – Minerva
Bracken72.799117.159 KY 2370 (Dutch Ridge Road)
74.567120.004 KY 19 – Brooksville, Augusta, Mount Olivet, Augusta Historic District
76.772123.553 KY 875 – Chatham, Gertrude
Woolcott79.280127.589 KY 1159 – Brooksville, Mount Olivet
82.606132.941 KY 1109 – Bradford, Johnsville
85.877138.206 KY 1019 – Lenoxburg, Foster

KY 2228 east to KY 8 – Foster
Western terminus of KY 2228
KY 159 south – Kincaid Lake State Park
Northern terminus of KY 159
KY 154 to KY 8 – Peach Grove
KY 2828 east (Ivor Road) – Carntown
Western terminus of KY 2828
Flagg Spring94.941152.793
KY 735 to KY 10 – Mentor
99.316159.834 KY 1996 (Carthage Road)

KY 1997 to KY 10 / KY 547
103.405166.414 KY 547 – Alexandria, Silver Groveinterchange
KY 709 west (East Alexandria Pike)
Cold Spring107.148172.438 US 27interchange (exit 14)

KY 915 south (Licking Pike) to KY 10
Northern terminus of KY 915
KY 1998 east
Western terminus of KY 1998

I-275 to I-71 / I-75 / I-471 – Airport
I-275 exit 77; north end of AA Highway
KY 2345 east (Johns Hill Road)
Northern terminus of KY 2345
KY 1632 east (Moock Road)
Western terminus of KY 1632
Newport115.666186.146 KY 1120 (West Eleventh Street)
KY 8 east (5th Street)
KY 8 west (4th Street)
Northern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ Division of Planning. "Official Milepoint Route Log Extract". Highway Information System. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
  2. ^ Flynn, Terry (1993-11-27). "AA Highway filling a gap". The Cincinnati Enquirer. p. 13. Retrieved 2023-05-29.
  3. ^ Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Possible KY 9 Improvements. Division of Planning. 2004 [1]. Archived August 4, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c Davis, Merlene. "SEVERAL PROJECTS HELPING TO EASE AREA'S TRAFFIC WOES." Herald-Leader [Lexington] 27 January 1985. 10 January 2007.

External links