Decades in the making, the AA Highway, aka Kentucky 9, has become an integral part of the Mason County landscape and an important hub for business and industry.
Construction on the long-awaited and long promised road linking Alexandria to Maysville's west and Ashland to its east began in 1985.
It was originally estimated to cost $266 million to complete but costs quickly rose to almost $300 million.
It officially opened in 1995 and was eventually christened the John Y. Brown Jr. AA Highway. It has since become the primarily artery for traffic across northern Mason County and other local counties bordering the Ohio River in Kentucky.
According to state officials, the highway carries an average of 8,000-12,000 vehicles through Mason County each day. It's busiest section in Mason County is at its intersection with U.S. 62/68 where 13,500 vehicles pass through daily.
In addition to carrying traffic, the highway has also become a major factor in expansion and location of retail and manufacturing for the area.
The roadway has undergone numerous upgrades to improve safety and access since its was first developed. The latest upgrade, currently underway, will expand it to four lanes throughout Mason County.