Wed January 16, 2013
Big Four Bridge Receives Final Pieces, Soft Opening Expected in January
Officials say the last pieces of the Big Four Bridge will be delivered Thursday and the soft opening is still expected by the end of the month.
Converting the Big Four Bridge into a pedestrian and bicycle pathway is a bi-state project that began in 2011. The project’s soft opening was expected last month but was delayed after metal needed to finish the bridge could not be delivered due to the holidays.
Now the last major pieces of the bridge were delivered this week and have been mostly installed, said David Karem, president of the Louisville Waterfront Development Corporation.
The final connector pieces are expected to arrive Thursday and the total railing system for the Big Four Bridge will be complete this week, Karem said.
The bridge will still need tweaks to parts of its lighting system, but the signage and rules of the bridge are in place and the project leaders expect everything to be completed in the next two weeks, he said.
“We’ve also been installing benches this week. So there’s sections of the bridge where there will be benches for people that want to sit and rest or look at the sunset or enjoy the views of the downtown and views East of the bridge,” Karem said.
Jeffersonville officials have been working on completing their portion of the project, which will include a ramp connecting the bridge to streets below. That portion of the project is expected to be completed this spring.
Until then, Karem said there is a railing preventing pedestrians from crossing into undeveloped parts of the bridge.
“You’ll be able to get up on, basically, the entire bridge, the ramp, the entire bridge and you just won’t be able to get off on the Indiana side,” he said.
Jeffersonville is also working on developing the Big Four Station, which will sit at the foot of the bridge. The project will likely include a pavilion that offers mixed-use and recreational developments, but some in Jeffersonville have voiced complaints over plans the city has laid out.
The pictures above were provided by the LWDC and are views visitors may see once access is granted later this month.