Progress on the Big 4 Bridge project, the largest pedestrian bridge in U.S.

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WHAS11.com

Posted on November 24, 2009 at 5:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 24 at 7:26 PM

(WHAS11)  For the first time, we are getting an up-close look at what is becoming the most talked about project on Louisville’s waterfront.

The Big Four Railroad Bridge is expected to become a sensation when it’s open.  The city said there’s nothing like it in the country, and we got a firsthand look at the big reason why.

It’s a concrete avenue that sweeps wide and rises into the air.

For the first time since train ramps were removed from it  in 1969, there will now be a connection to the Big Four Railroad Bridge across the Ohio River.

Clinton Deckard, project manager said, “This will be the largest pedestrian bridge in the United States.”

Each level has a different perspective; the city’s buildings, Tumbleweed Restaurant on River Road, a tugboat on the river, all are offered from different views up high on the bridge.  And at the very top, the steel canopy where trains used to move.

Clinton said, “The railroad ties get removed and we’ll pour a concrete surface with handrails.  Completion date for the ramp is next march; and after that, instead of trains, the future for this 114-year-old span is for feet and bicycles.

The ramp will be finished in March, but work on the bridge itself hasn’t started yet; that’s because fundraising is still underway.

Talks at Waterfront Development are also underway, as to whether to open up the ramp for people next year, while putting up some kind of blockade at the top to prevent people from getting on the unsafe bridge.

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