Big Four Bridge set for completion

In a project that officials say will further unite the region, the governors of Kentucky and Indiana announced that along with the city of Jeffersonville, the two states will allocate $22 million to complete the Big Four Bridge pedestrian and bicycle pathway to link Louisville and Southern Indiana.

The agreement will turn the unused and rusting span into a new bridge that will connect Louisville’s Waterfront Park to downtown Jeffersonville. The historic bridge was built for railroad traffic in 1895, but has been closed with its approaches removed since 1969.

Under the agreement signed by both states, Kentucky is pledging $12 million to replace the deck on the bridge and connect it to the spiral ramp that has been completed in Waterfront Park.

On the other side of the river, Indiana will spend up to $8 million and Jeffersonville will provide $2 million in matching dollars to pay for construction its ramp to the Big Four Bridge.

“I am grateful to both states and particularly (Indiana) Gov. (Mithc) Daniels because Jeffersonville could not have done this on its own,” said Jeffersonville Mayor Tom Galligan in a news release. “This is a big day for citizens on both sides of the river.”

While Jeffersonville is finalizing an environmental review of their proposed ramp, officials say the construction is set to begin this spring meaning the new pathway could be open to pedestrians and cyclists in early 2013.

“The governors of Kentucky and Indiana are working together to make great things happen for Louisville and Southern Indiana,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “The Big Four will not only link both sides of the Ohio River, it helps bridge our communities together. We are one city, one community and one family, as I said in my inaugural address. Let me add a fourth element: We are one region. This project is proof of that.”

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    The States of Kentucky (last place) and Indiana were ranked “worst” in the United States, for public space cleanliness from debris-litter removals and related public/environmental performances, according to The 2011 American State Litter Scorecard, presented at the American Society for Public Administration national conference. Illinois also was rated as a bottom ten WORST state.

    Littering, the illegal throwing of man-made trash onto landscapes breeds pests, diseases and harms wildlife. Each year, over 800 Americans, including at least 15 across Kentucky, die in debris/litter attributed vehicle accidents, said Steve Spacek, Scorecard author.

    Kentucky and Indiana suffer from:
    –NO Effective Statewide Anti Litter Abatement Campaign
    –NO Container Deposit, NO Comprehensive Recycling Legislation.
    –Poor Environmental Responsibility Reputation of Elected Governor (Beshear and Daniels)
    –Below Average Knowledge of Littering and other Road Laws by Licensed Drivers
    –Above U.S. Average Per Person Daily Waste Disposals
    –Above Average Thoroughfare Maintenance Disbursement Costs
    –Above Average Debris-related Fatal Vehicle Collisions per Total Population Size/Vehicles Registered
    –Above Average Public Corruption Convictions per Population Proportion.

    Spacek hopes the newest results might help Kentucky and Indiana make real differences in improving statewide ecological conditions, since public litter prevention and abatement remains mandated functions of American State governance.

    See the Scorecard (Powerpoint)
    http://www.slideshare.net/stevewonder2/newest-2011-american-state-litter-scorecard-data-scores-charts

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2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Louisville Courant, Phillip M. Bailey. Phillip M. Bailey said: FatLip: Big Four Bridge set for completion http://is.gd/9ngPKa #Louisville #Kentucky #Indiana [...]

  2. By At Least One Bridge Will Probably Get Finished on February 23, 2011 at 10:31 am

    [...] The Big Four Bridge is set for completion. The pedestrian and bicycle pathway will soon link Louisville and Southern Indiana. [FatLIp] [...]

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