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February 7, 2013

Big Four’s Big Day

Pedestrian bridge opens to the public to large crowds



Until both ramps are completed, people will have to be content with strolling up the ramp and across the 2,500-foot-long, 57-foot-high bridge deck for the views and exercise.

There was no shortage of folks wanting to get that sneak peek Thursday.

Summer and Broderick Wilson said they have been waiting to see the bridge open for a while. They came to the grand opening to check out the views and added that they are excited about crossing the bridge once it is fully compete.

Broderick Wilson, who works in downtown Louisville, said he likes to take his lunch to Waterfront Park to relax.

“I might make it up here on my lunch breaks,” he said.

St. Matthews residents Kerk Fisher and Freddie Hoskins also have watched the transition of the railroad bridge into a pedestrian pathway and wanted to check out the newly opened span.

“Oh, I just think it’s so cool,” Hoskins said.

“We think this is an exciting project,” Kerk Fisher added. 

He said the couple is looking forward to the ramp in Jeffersonville to be completed so they can walk to a restaurant they frequent in Jeffersonville.

What several hundred people saw once they climbed the winding ramp to the top of the old railroad bridge was a poured concrete deck that runs the length of the six-truss bridge. Down the center of the deck, two lines mark where the railroad tracks formerly laid and overhead pendant lights — reminiscent of an old train depot — will help mark the center of the pedestrian bridge at night. Several light sconces were also attached to the side of the bridge that will help illuminate the deck at night.

Metal railings run the length of the bridge deck and there are numerous benches where pedestrians and bicyclists can stop to rest and enjoy the views of either riverfront.

The bridge will be open 24-hours-a-day, every day of the year except for Thunder Over Louisville, for weather related events or if major repairs are needed.

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