News and Tribune

Bridges Project

May 7, 2014

A TOUR OF TOMORROW: Bridges officials give guided tour of Downtown Crossing

JEFFERSONVILLE — Max Rowland is used to getting questions about the Ohio River Bridges Project, and he’s happy to answer them.

As the project communications manager with Walsh Construction, Rowland regularly fields questions from television, radio and newspaper reporters about the status of the Downtown Crossing. But once per month, Rowland and other ORBP officials lead a tour of the project, and on Wednesday, Rowland was in his element, fielding questions directly from members of the public as he explained the nuts and bolts of building a bridge.

“They’re all very good questions,” Rowland said at the conclusion of the tour. “I think we’re getting a lot of retired engineers and technical people, because the questions they’re asking are right on.”

Rowland can expect to get a lot more questions from members of the public in the coming months. Instead of offering just one tour per month, Rowland said the ORBP plans to announce that two tours will be offered in June, July and August.

“People need to watch the website [kyinbridges.com], because I think we’re going to put that up pretty soon,” Rowland said.

The tours, which are currently held the first Wednesday of each month, begin at the foot of the Kentucky approach to the Big Four Bridge, and tour groups are capped at 25 people. Reservations need to be made in advance to be included in a tour group.

Louisville resident John Mattingly learned about the free tours from a local television news broadcast and decided to sign up. He didn’t regret the decision, calling the experience “fascinating.”

“It’s very enjoyable,” Mattingly said. “I highly recommend it to anyone.”

Mattingly and other interested residents were particularly interested in learning about the method the Walsh construction design-build team is using to create the concrete shafts that will anchor the towers of the new downtown bridge into the bed of the Ohio River.

Tourists received handouts that included facts, statistics and graphics of the work being done, but Rowland was also sure to guide the tourists to the ORBP Downtown Crossing website. As the tour group ascended the ramp to the Big Four Bridge, Rowland pointed up to cameras that show the project in real time and capture time-lapsed video of progress.

 

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