States To Finance Big Four Bridge Renovations

by Gabe Bullard on February 15, 2011

David Karem (photo by Dalton Main)The Kentucky and Indiana state governments have agreed to put a total of $20 million toward renovating a rusting railroad bridge between Louisville and Jeffersonville.

The Big Four Bridge has long been slated to be converted to a pedestrian span, but money to put a walkable surface on the bridge has not been available. Waterfront Development Corporation president David Karem says a portion of the funds will be available soon to start preparing the bridge for resurfacing.

“We’ve been working with the transportation cabinet and they will help us access part of this money this spring. The first thing we’ll be doing is removing all the railroad ties off the bridge. We’ll be doing repair work that needs to be done on the bridge,” he says. “We’re working right now on the bid documents, and they should be out. Literally, within a week or so we’ll actually start bidding the work on the demolition and the repair work on the bridge.”

The rest of the money will be released this summer, and the entire project is slated to be complete by 2013. The City of Jeffersonville will put $2 million toward building a ramp on the Indiana side of the span. Louisville’s ramp has already been built using donated money.

If proposed changes to the Ohio River Bridges Project go through, the Big Four Bridge will take the place of previously planned pedestrian lanes on a new downtown bridge.

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