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Kentucky's Frontier HighwayHistorical Landscapes along the Maysville Road$
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Karl Raitz and Robert Roland-Holst

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813136646

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813136646.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Turnpike Road

Turnpike Road

(p.61) 8 Turnpike Road
Kentucky's Frontier Highway

Karl Raitz

Nancy O’Malley

University Press of Kentucky

By the 1810s and 20s, central Kentucky's economy was thriving but high transportation costs on imports and exports reduced farm and merchant profits. Hoping that improvements to the Maysville Road would reduce transport costs Kentucky's legislature approved a Maysville Road turnpike company in 1817 to oversee construction of a stone-surfaced toll road. European road engineers such as John McAdam developed methods of building resilient, all-weather, broken-stone roadbeds and his building principles were used to complete, in 1835, the Maysville and Lexington Turnpike. Many road building contractors and road laborers were Irish immigrants. In 1835, the state Board of Internal Improvement hired Sylvester Welch as the state's chief engineer. So effective were Welch's road construction innovations that they became the basis for a 1894 road law. The Maysville Turnpike's toll road epoch ended in the early 1900s.

Keywords:   Turnpike, Toll road, Engineering, Irish labourers, Road law

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