Local News

Waterfront Park Ice Rink on Hold for Another Year

Plans for an ice skating rink in Louisville’s Waterfront Park have been scrapped for another year.

In February, the Waterfront Development Corporation announced plans for the rink, which was slated to open this winter. The $75,000 needed to finance the project was to come from an outside sponsorship, but the deal fell through.

“They chose to not participate this year because it was kind of a last-minute deal. But they’ve shown strong interest in it next year. We had to pass on it because we did not have it in our budget,” says WDC Director of Facilities Gary Pepper, who adds that the rink could be built next year.

“You know I pushed for it for three years and every time I push, I get a little bit closer. There’s a lot of interest in it,” he says. “Everybody thinks it’s a great idea. We’ve got a killer location for it. But with the economy the way it is, we’re working on a tight margin, a tight budget right now. We just don’t have the money.”

A new outdoor ice skating rink will open later this month in Lexington.

Local News

Adventure Playground Remains Open Amid Heat Advisory

This week’s excessive heat advisory has caused delays to needed repairs at the waterfront splash park in Louisville this week.

Gary Pepper with the Waterfront Development Corporation says the playground was scheduled for much needed repairs this week but the Corporation has decided to delay the work to keep citizens cool.

“Well what’s happened is the rubber surface is delaminating,” he says “it’s coming apart from the foundation below so it’s become a trip hazard, so kids are running through there and the rubber is sticking up.”

He says the surface has needed costly repairs several times since the playground was built and the organization plans to totally replace the surface in the fall.

“We’re going to tear all the rubber out, and we haven’t chosen a final surface material yet,” Pepper says “but it will be completely re-done.”

The repairs will be a temporary fix until the new surface can be installed.  The organization hasn’t chosen a new surface yet, but the rubber will be entirely replaced.

Pepper estimates that almost a thousand people visit the park daily, and the temporary repairs will be delayed until cooler weather hits.

Local News Next Louisville Politics

States To Finance Big Four Bridge Renovations

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.

Local News

Belle Of Louisville Collision Results In Injuries, Damage

Several people suffered slight injuries Saturday afternoon when the historic Belle of Louisville steamboat struck a barge on the Ohio River near Six Mile Island.

The vessel’s paddlewheel was damaged and the Belle had to be towed back to its downtown landing.

Waterfront Development Corporation Director David Karem tells the Courier-Journal that the Belle was pushed into the parked barge by strong winds as it was turning around during a midday excursion.