JEFFERSONVILLE — Five homes slated to be torn down to make way for Big Four Station and the Ohio River Bridges Project have found a new life.
A settlement agreement reached between the National Trust for Historic Preservation, conservancy group River Fields Inc., the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Indiana Department of Transportation will dedicate $1.7 million to a historic preservation and enhancement fund.
The money will be equally deposited into the fund by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Indiana Department of Transportation to pay for several historic preservation projects. Among the top priorities on an eligible project list was the relocation of five homes within the Jeffersonville Historic District slated for demolition to make way for the Big Four Landing project.
The project is a park and greenspace planned at the foot of the Big Four bicycle and pedestrian bridge. A sidewalk in the original plans for the new Interstate 65 bridge, which is part of the bridges project, was removed in favor of redeveloping the former railroad bridge to provide pedestrian access between Louisville and Jeffersonville.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE FUNDS
The $1.7 million in funding will not all go to relocating the homes in downtown Jeffersonville’s historic district.
However, INDOT Spokesman Will Wingfield said that the relocation of the homes has been given a priority status for the funds. The other project with priority status is the Garvin Brown Preserve in Kentucky, according to the settlement agreement.
Six other projects were included in the eligible project list, and if the money is not spent within two years from the date of the fund’s establishment, the money will go back to the states.
With the deadline in mind, Jeffersonville plans to move quickly on dedicating the money.
“We’re trying to expedite it as soon as possible,” said Jeffersonville Redevelopment Director Rob Waiz.