The first proposal of a fixed river crossing came in the 1920s, when a bridge was conceived to connect Kentucky to Ohio due to Maysville being the juncture of U.S. Routes 62 and 68, along with Kentucky State Route 8 and 10, and Aberdeen being the along U.S. Route 52 (Grant Memorial Highway). The cities of Maysville and Augusta in Kentucky were competing upon the location of the span, however, on November 8, 1930, Maysville was selected as the location of the Kentucky approach.(1) Contracts to the Dravco Construction Company and the John A. Roebling Sons Company were let.
The Simon Kenton Suspension Bridge opened to traffic at 10:30 A.M. on November 25, 1931, completed for a cost of $1.6 million.(1) Opening ceremonies included lights strung across the bridge, and a grandstand constructed opposite Maysville’s Third Street entrance to the bridge for the dedication ceremonies with thousands attending. On that same day, the last ferry boats at Maysville closed. A toll was charged to cross the span.
On August 1, 1945, the state of Kentucky announced plans to end the toll on the suspension bridge, then the only Ohio River span between Newport, Kentucky and Portsmouth, Ohio. Tolls ended on October 1.(1) This was a much celebrated event, with a parade in downtown Maysville celebrating the “end of tolls” on the crossing, with nearly 10,000 attending. The Maysville’s Rotary and Lions clubs also held celebrations.
In 2002, a $5.8 million renovation job replaced the deck of the Ohio River crossing. A fresh coat of battleship gray paint was also applied.
- Designation: BUS US 62, BUS US 68
- Crosses: Ohio River
- Bridge type: Suspension
- Main span length: 1060 ft.
- Total length: 3163 ft.
- Height: 165 ft.
- Width: 20 ft.
- Number of lanes: 2
- Cost: $1.6 million