Revival of Big 4 railroad bridge in progress, Sky11 has the overhead view

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WHAS11.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 6:43 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 13 at 3:14 PM

(WHAS11) - A Louisville project that has been dreamed about and talked about for years, is finally taking shape.

The revival of the Big 4 railroad bridge has a storied past.

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At one time, it was going to be a string of shops over the river, even a hotel.

But in reality, it now will become one of the largest pedestrian walkways over water in the United States and WHAS11 found from Sky11, you can spot the progress.

For 80 years, the Big 4 railroad bridge has spanned the Ohio river.

For 41 years, it has sat on our waterfront with no ends, no trains, no traffic.

It is now getting ready to become the longest pedestrian bridge over water in the United States.

And what will make it unique is the way it will connect.

Already you can see red columns are in place.

A concrete ramp on the ground is starting to take shape that as it moves under the bridge; it will swirl upward into the air and sit on top of these red columns. It will connect to the end of the bridge in Louisville, that's how you will walk up onto the bridge.

It's cost $6.5 million, but is designed so emergency vehicles can get up to the bridge.

From there, you will have a one mile walk over to Jeffersonville. That city is also going to add a connection so you can exit there if you want.

The old railroad tracks will be pulled and removed, replaced by concrete.

Right now, grass is growing where trains once ran.

You can also see the blackened tracks where an electrical fire created quite a show just a couple of years ago.

Connecting the bridge has been a dream for decades in Louisville.

And now with a new basketball arena within walking distance from it, also on the waterfront, you can imagine the possibilities when both are open.

In its heyday, the Big 4 carried four railroad lines, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis.

The light fixtures being designed for the slope are unique and locally built.

And GE furnished lights for the entire bridge at a 50% discount for the Waterfront Development Corporation.

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