JEFFERSONVILLE — One of its catalysts has been the anticipated completion of the Big Four pedestrian and bicycle bridge. Once it is finished it will tie into the Ohio River Greenway, have paths out to Charlestown State Park and be an amenity that is promoted to attract more businesses to the region.
The city has been developing, and the Jeffersonville City Council approved at Monday’s council meeting, a bicycle and pedestrian masterplan for Jeffersonville.
Jeffersonville Planning and Zoning Director Shane Corbin said the city has received a grant from the Indiana Department of Health to develop the masterplan that totals $43,000. The city’s matching money to receive the grant is $7,000, $5,000 of which has already been secured from the Pioneering Healthy Communities Task Force.
On Monday, the city council helped move the masterplan forward by approving up to $25,000 to develop it.
Corbin said the state department of health was quick to jump on board in helping the city with developing a bicycle and pedestrian plan, largely based around the anticipated completion of the Big Four Bridge.
The former railroad bridge has been converted into a pedestrian and bicycle crossing over the Ohio River and will connect Jeffersonville to Louisville’s Waterfront Park. While Louisville’s ramp to the Big Four Bridge is complete, the Indiana ramp has an expected finish date in June.
“They want to make communities more bike/ped friendly because they want people to be more active,” Corbin said of the Indiana Department of Health. “They want people to improve on health indicators in the state.”
The additional access to Louisville will create more opportunities for alternative modes of transportation.
“It provides and option,” said Steve Sizemore, senior planner with Louisville’s department of economic growth and innovation. “It’s an option that hasn’t been as available.”