A new bridge for the holidays

 

The best part of my job is helping clients share good news, and that was certainly the case this week as two major announcements were made regarding the Downtown Crossing portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project. Gov. Steve Beshear stood on the deck of the new bridge to announce it’s opening early and the public will have a chance to cross the new bridge before the first vehicles drive the span.

From left, Jeffersonville, Ind., Mayor Mike Moore; Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann; Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear; and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer signed golden bolts to commemorate the Downtown Crossing.
From left, Jeffersonville, Ind., Mayor Mike Moore; Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann; Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear; and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer signed golden bolts to commemorate the Downtown Crossing.

Let’s put the news in perspective … does this mean the end of construction? No, but it marks a huge milestone and an historic moment for the entire community.

Why is this so exciting? Simply put, this is a once-in-a-lifetime moment for many us. You have to turn back the clock 52 years to talk about the last time a new Ohio River bridge opened in our area. The John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge was named just days after the President’s assassination and opened to traffic in December 1963.

This December, we expect to have the new Downtown bridge open to two-way traffic. Construction is an uncertain business, and an exact date has not been set yet. But, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and crews with Walsh Construction are on budget and ahead of schedule, and they’re confident enough to say the bridge will be carrying traffic by Christmas.

Before the first vehicles cross the bridge, you’ll have a chance to walk it. Plans are still being finalized for the “Walk the Bridge” celebration, but we can tell you the public will have a chance to walk onto the new bridge from Jeffersonville. This is a moment you’ll be able to look back on and say, “I was there.” We’ll let you know in the coming weeks when to mark your calendars.
For those who never thought they would see a new bridge over the mighty Ohio River, the wait is almost over. You’re just weeks away from walking on it and driving over it – exciting times indeed!

Mindy Peterson

C2 Senior Strategist

 

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