Jeffersonville ramp of Big Four Bridge opening delayed again

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by William Teague

WHAS11.com

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 17 at 8:48 PM

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WHAS11)—On Thursday the Indiana Department of Transportation again delayed opening of the Indiana side of the Big Four Bridge.

Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore was disappointed and frustrated with INDOT’s reversal of its decision to open the bridge on April 30.

“The City of Jeffersonville has done everything possible to open the ramp,” Moore said. “Unfortunately, our repeated requests have fallen on deaf ears. Despite INDOT’s assurances that the Big Four would open Derby Week, we are now told that it will remain closed. It’s just the latest disappointment in INDOT’s management of this project.

Moore’s frustration was clear as he discussed the continued delay of the opening of the Indiana side. The Kentucky side opened on schedule has had been a busy place since.

“The opening of the Big Four is nearly a year behind schedule,” Moore said. “There has been one delay after another. The citizens of Jeffersonville deserve better than to have its side of the Big Four remain shut-down when it could be open now. INDOT will now allow an early opening despite the City’s recent steps.”

During a special meeting of the Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission on April 1, 2014, the commission approved the installation of temporary lighting on the ramp, with the assurance from INDOT that the bridge would be open on April 30.

The permanent lighting has been delayed due to design and manufacturing problems.

“The City did what INDOT wanted so we could open the Big Four,” Moore said, noting the City of Jeffersonville was willing to assume all liability for an early opening. “We were told that adding temporary lighting would solve the problem until the permanent lighting was installed. And now less than two weeks before the opening, we’re told we have to wait again.”

Moore’s disappointment with INDOT continued, where he said the City had done everything asked by the department, working with them to open the bridge sooner rather than later.

“But unfortunately, INDOT wants to keep it close,” Moore said. “It’s very frustrating because it’s an INDOT project.”

Moore also discussed that each day the Indiana side remains closed, fewer residents have a chance to enjoy the pedestrian bridge linking the city to Louisville.

“The Big Four is an asset to our downtown,” Moore said. “It will bring thousands of people into our city and quickly become a catalyst for economic development. It’s disappointing that INDOT doesn’t recognize how important this project is to the citizens of Jeffersonville.

Moore said with INDOT’s refusal to accept the temporary lighting, the opening date of the Indiana side is now unknown one again.
 

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