The City of Jeffersonville, Indiana hosted a presentation on Saturday, November 10, 2012 at City Hall in order to present the latest site design revisions that relate to the Big Four pedestrian and bikeway bridge project, and to answer possible questions from the public.
The Big Four Bridge bike and pedestrian pathway project in Southern Indiana came closer to on-the-ground reality when Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore introduced Wayne Estopinal of the design firm TEG, at a public meeting for an update on the design phase of the work. TEG plans to design and construct a plaza called Big Four Station. This is the beginning for the Indiana access to the bridge. TEG's first presentation, in July this year, asked for public feedback at that time, and the designers have worked hard to implement the suggestions presented at that meeting into the presentation which took place Saturday, Nov 11.
Features on the Indiana approach to the bridge include reducing light pollution, especially to nearby residents and adoption of more historic-style design by using acorn shaped light fixtures. Design modifications also included a redesign of the playground area.
Other inclusions in the design include benches, restrooms, light towers which will have an internal glow, as well as an obelisk to mark the 1937 flood height. Plans include an open pavilion for concerts, art fairs, use by the existing farmers market nearby, and other events, and a flowing-water feature that audibly reflects the Falls of the Ohio location and its rapids. "I think it's going to be a dynamic place for the city to gather," said Estopinal.
Historic signage will inform visitors and users about the path and some of the roots of this area. Directional postings will inform bicyclists and pedestrians how to connect from the bridge to the greenway that links Jeffersonville to New Albany via a riverside route. The bridge trail will ultimately also link to Louisville's Riverfront Walk and the Louisville Loop. The Louisville Loop, almost one-fourth complete, is a projected to extend 100 miles, encircling the city and creating connections to parks, neighborhoods, alternative transportation, civic centers and recreational opportunities.
The historic Reuben Wells house is in the process of being relocated to make room for the Big Four Station plaza, and Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore says he would like to see the plaza as the start of a loop trail around Jeffersonville.
Another important feature of the plaza is its connection and proximity to Jeffersonville's downtown business district. Dates in projects of this nature are tentative, but if no problems arise, TEG hopes bid-letting will take place by early spring of the coming year. The connecting Indiana ramp to the bridge, being designed by another firm, may be completed between May and June of 2013, but it cannot start until construction on the bridge is complete.
Spokesperson for the Indiana project, Shauna Graf, reminds potential users that the bike-ped bridge work is being done in stages as funding is made available. However, she also said the Louisville side of the project may open, if all goes well, in December of this year.
CLICK ON THE DRAWINGS TO ENLARGE