Some Original Thinking on Bridges

What if. . .

The Clark is 82, and was the last local-access bridge we built

the community’s leaders got behind a plan to build smaller, less expensive local-access bridges right now. Architect Steve Wiser has a plan that he says is do-able right now to help fix the area’s transportation problems. Wiser wants to build at least three local-access bridges, at $100 million each, that could be carrying traffic within five years.

He’s holding a press conference Wednesday at the K&I Bridge, and hopes that some public officials, including members the Metro Council, will show up and listen. Wiser points out that crossing the Ohio River around here, even before the Sherman Minton fiasco, was more difficult than in cities like Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, which have multiple bridge crossings.  And he says there hasn’t been a local-access bridge built here since 1929, when the Clark was completed downtown.

Here’s Wiser’s announcement — the press conference is at 10 a.m. Wednesday:

The Sherman Minton Bridge situation demonstrates why cross-river connections must be built sooner than later. As the debates continue within the federal process, there is an opportunity for local leadership to be creative and innovative—resulting in savings to the community in dollars and time.

“Local Access Bridges” can be built now, within five (5) years, and about $100 million each.

Locations of these bridges could be as follows: adjacent to the K & I Bridge; in southwest Jefferson County, connecting Riverport / Rubbertown (Bells Lane; Lees Lane; Greenwood Rd) to IN 111; and upriver (either adjacent to the Clark Memorial, or near Frankfort Avenue or Zorn Avenue, or the location supported by most in this community near Prospect, Ky.)

Local-access bridges would encourage local commuters to use the existing urban street system and thereby promote revitalization in areas west of 9th Street would also reduce congestion which then minimizes air pollution. Along with automobiles, local access bridges should include dedicated public transit lanes, bicycle paths, and pedestrian walkways – all excellent ways to reduce congestion and minimize air pollution.

Both Kentucky and Indiana can split this cost and finance these smaller, affordable bridges. As to spaghetti junction, there are several minor fixes that could be implemented which would greatly alleviate traffic congestion at this critical connection.

Metro Louisville and southern Indiana is a tremendous place in which to live.
Now, if we can build some local-access bridges, it will be an even better community!

If this truly is ‘Possibility city’, then let’s look at ALL possibilities, and do what is possible NOW!