Toll No More
Daniel Boone Parkway

 

The Daniel Boone Parkway is a two-lane limited-access highway with truck passing lanes on hills. There are short four-lane portions at London and at Hazard, and there are also portions of the road at the terminus cities with at-grade intersections. There were three toll plazas on the highway. A mainline plaza was located east of the KY 192 intersection near London, and there were also plazas at Exit 34 (KY 66) and Exit 44 (Hyden Spur, the unsigned KY 118). These exits are actually at-grade intersections with unusual toll plaza configurations. All photos taken June 7, 2003, unless otherwise noted.

These photos, of the sign at the entrance to the parkway at the intersection of KY 80 and US 25 at London, show a "before and after." The one on the left was taken in 2000; the one on the right on June 7, 2003. It doesn't show up well in the photo, but there is a shadow visible where the words "Toll Road" used to be on the sign.


London Toll Plaza

Just east of the parkway's intersection with KY 192, there was a standalone toll plaza. All these photos are taken looking eastward from the eastbound lanes.

 

An electronic message sign alerted motorists that no toll would be collected at the upcoming toll booth. The "Stop Ahead Pay toll" signs and the signs posting the fares had been removed, along with their support posts.


This view shows the toll plaza with the metal structure atop it. The two-lane road widens to four lanes, with two booths in each direction. The booth on the left could handle traffic in either direction, and could be either manned or unmanned. Note that the sign above the left lane has been removed. It normally read "Thru Cars Exact Change Only" or something similar but could be changed manually if the booth was staffed. The booths for the outside lanes were always staffed and they handled cars with trailers, trucks, or drivers who didn't have exact change. The toll plaza's office can be seen at left.


A view of the toll plaza from a different angle. Note how the metal structure has been blackened from years of exhaust from trucks passing through the toll plaza.


A closer view of the toll plaza office.


Note that the traffic light and the collection basket has been removed from the booth in this closeup view. The "Toll Free Slow" notation has been taped to the window. It looks crude,but it's cheaper than specially buiding a sign.


Big Creek Toll Plaza

Exit 34 is for KY 66. This exit in eastern Clay County allows traffic in that portion of the county to easily reach the county seat, Manchester, without using US 421. The toll plazas and exits for Exit 34 and also Exit 44 were of a unique design. Here's hoping these photos and the accompanying narrative will be sufficiently explanatory.

 

Let's start by looking at this photo, taken looking east on the parkway. The roadway on the right is the eastbound lane of the parkway; the one on the left is the westbound lane. The toll booth on the right serves all eastbound traffic, both thru traffic and traffic turning left onto the access road to KY 66. On the left is a booth which serves only traffic entering the parkway westbound toward Manchester. In the center of the photo, in the distance, is one booth to serve all westbound parkway traffic -- either going straight through or exiting onto KY 66 -- plus traffic entering the parkway eastbound.


 

This photo shows the toll booth for all eastbound traffic. Notice how stained the concrete roof and support structure is from the truck exhausts. At this booth, tolls were collected for traffic staying on the parkway or for traffic leaving to connect to KY 66. KY 66 traffic stopped at the stop sign, then made a left turn across the eastbound lane onto the access road leading to KY 66. Thru traffic continued straight.


This photo shows the two booths at the left and center of the previous one. The left booth is for traffic entering the eastbound parkway.


This shows the same two booths, but from a different angle.


This photo shows the toll plaza's office building and the three lanes of traffic here. The car heading toward the camera is traveling west and can either go straight on the parkway or make a right turn onto the KY 66 connector. The center lane is for eastbound traffic which has just entered the parkway. The lane on the right is for eastbound traffic that has already passed through the toll booth.


Here's a closeup view of the center booth from the first picture. The lane on the left is for westbound traffic. The lane in the center, which passes through the booth, is for traffic that has just entered the eastbound parkway from KY 66. The rightmost lane is for eastbound parkway traffic.


This is the same tollbooth as shown in the previous photo, but at a wider angle, showing more of the eastbound through traffic lane.


Now we've turned around and are looking westward. The right lane is for all westbound traffic. The center lane is for traffic entering the eastbound parkway from KY 66, and the leftmost lane is for through eastbound traffic. The booth in the distance on the right is the one for traffic entering the parkway westbound; the one on the left is for all eastbound traffic. The toll plaza office building is on the right.


This is a closer view of the same subject as immediately above.


The red SUV has just passed through the westbound toll booth and can either continue straight or turn right onto the KY 66 connector.


Here, the white car is heading east and has the option of making a left turn onto the KY 66 connector or continuing straight toward Hyden and Hazard.


This is the toll booth in the center of the above photos. The white truck is heading east in the far right lane, outside the booth's sheltered area. The center lane is for traffic that has entered the eastbound parkway from KY 66. The side of the booth that is visible served all westbound traffic. The "toll free" sign is where the collection basket used to be.


 

This is the toll booth that served traffic entering the parkway westbound from KY 66.


The office building for the Big Creek Toll Plaza.


This sign, on the KY 66 connector approaching the parkway, used to read "Stop Ahead Pay Toll" and shadows from the former lettering can faintly be seen. Now a standard "T" warning sign has been placed on the sign and the flashing yellow lights are no longer working.


Thousandsticks (Hyden) Toll Plaza

The easternmost toll plaza on the Daniel Boone Parkway is at Exit 44, for the Hyden Spur. This route is unsigned KY 118 and was built at the same time as the parkway, to link it to US 421/KY 80 at Hyden, four miles and one mountain crossing to the south. It's located at the small community of Thousandsticks. The configuration is pretty much the same as the Big Creek Toll Plaza, except that the road turns to the south instead of to the north.

 

 

This photo was taken in March 2003, when the toll booths were still operational, and looking eastward. The booth in the distance on the left is for westbound traffic. You can see the white car making a left turn onto the Hyden Spur. The booth in the distance, visible through the two-lane booth in the center, is for traffic entering the parkway eastbound from the Hyden Spur. The two-lane booth in the foreground serves traffic entering the parkway going west (the center lane, with the car facing the camera) and all eastbound traffic (where the rear of the vehicle is visible.) The toll plaza's office building is to the right of the photo, the brick building with the blue door.


This sign used to read "Stop Ahead Pay Toll" and the shadows where those letters were attached to the sign are faintly visible. Now there is a "side road" warning sign attached to the yellow guide sign. The "Reduced Speed 25" was for the period while the toll booths were being demolished.


Note the difference between this sign on the Hyden Spur, and a similar sign on the KY 66 connector at Big Creek. On this sign, the "Stop Ahead" letters were kept in place, possibly because the toll plaza sits at the bottom of a hill at the end of the Hyden Spur. The shadows where the "Pay Toll" letters were attached are faintly visible, and the "T" warning sign was placed below the "Stop Ahead" text.


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Copyright © 2003, H.B. Elkins
This page created June 17, 2003
This page last modified June 17 2003.