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Kentucky's Valley View Ferry at Bridges & Tunnels

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seicer:
Valley View Ferry

The Valley View Ferry carries Kentucky State Route 169 between Fayette and Madison Counties in Kentucky.

The ferry was established in 1785, predating Kentucky's admission to the Union in 1792. John Craig, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, acquired land in the area in 1780 through a military warrant. Five years later, the Virginia General Assembly granted Craig a franchise to operate a ferry at Valley View, where it was a privately-owned business for over 200 years. It passed through seven generations of families until 1991, when the ferry was purchased jointly by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, and Madison and Jessamine Counties for $60,000.


In 1996, the weight of heavy snow sank the ferry boat. It was replaced soon after by the "John Craig," aptly named after the site's original owner. Two years later, Valley View was closed for a renovation that involved the construction of four 55-foot concrete towers that replaced the rusting steel supports of the former "Riney-B" Railroad Bridge. The span was originally constructed in 1890, although the railroad itself was abandoned in 1942.


In 2000, a new boat was purchased that allowed the ferry to transport three cars over the river instead of two.

The ferry is a free service funded by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and transports 250 cars a day on average. It is the commonwealth's oldest remaining business.

Find more photographs and histories at Bridges & Tunnel's newly redesigned web-site. The site now includes a blog and new commenting features. Enjoy!

Voyager:
I don't know about you, but I'm not sure I'd want to go on that ferry.

hbelkins:
I've ridden it several times in my life, including a few weeks ago. I wasn't worried.

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