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Metro Newsroom

Governor Beshear re-opens Eastern Parkway bridge

Tuesday June 22, 2010


Roadway improvements near University of Louisville completed

Gov. Steve Beshear joined Congressman John Yarmuth, University of Louisville President Dr. James Ramsey and Louisville Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson today to re-open the Eastern Parkway bridge near the Belknap Campus. The bridge has been closed since September 2009 to allow for extensive repairs.

Concrete on the Eastern Parkway bridge had been deteriorating in recent years and federal bridge funds were obtained to make the much-needed repairs. The structure, which spans the CSX Railroad, Floyd and Brook streets and Old Eastern Parkway, was jacked up to allow for substructure repairs. The bridge deck was replaced and widened an additional three feet in each direction to accommodate expanded sidewalks.

“This was a multi-dimensional project that improved safety, fixed deterioration and made this corridor more useful and aesthetically pleasing for the university community and city dwellers alike,” Governor Beshear said. “As long as I’m Governor, we will find ways to invest in the infrastructure on which our communities rely.”

Construction on the bridge was the final piece of a $7.9 million contract that also included safety improvements on Eastern Parkway near Third Street and realignment of the ramps on Interstate 65 at Warnock Avenue. Work on Eastern Parkway and the I-65 interchange were completed last year.

“In Louisville, we’ve already seen the investments of the Recovery Act save teaching jobs at JCPS, create jobs at Appliance Park, provide loan guarantees to local small businesses, and support our police, firefighters, and first responders,” said Congressman Yarmuth. “Today, we’re cutting the ribbon on another completed Recovery Act project that put people to work in our community – and upgraded deteriorating infrastructure, making our roads safer and more accessible.

The improvements on Eastern Parkway at the J. B. Speed School of Engineering were funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and a $400,000 match by the University of Louisville. The parkway was reconfigured between I-65 and Third Street to have one traffic lane and a bike lane in each direction and a raised median. Ornamental fencing was installed on the median between the traffic signal at the school entrance and Third Street. The fence will direct pedestrians to the signalized crosswalks on Eastern Parkway.

“The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the construction crews have done a remarkable job,” said UofL President James Ramsey. “The changes to Eastern Parkway will make this area much safer, and the beautification work these crews did really add to the park-like setting of our Belknap campus. This project turned out to be a little more complicated than we expected, but we are happy with the finished product and pleased that it will enhance the experience of those of us who live, work and play at the University of Louisville.”

The project also includes reconfigured sidewalks, new street lighting, bus shelters and decorative walls between the street and sidewalk. To aid truckers, a height detection system was installed to prevent trucks that are too tall from trying to pass under the railroad overpass at the Third Street and Eastern Parkway intersection.

“From bike lanes to new turn lanes, the completion of these projects on and around Eastern Parkway will make things more convenient for drivers and bikers alike,” said Mayor Jerry Abramson. “The streetscape improvements are giving this section of U of L’s campus new beauty we can all enjoy.”

Improvements to the I-65/Warnock Avenue interchange were funded by federal highway safety funds. The work included realigning the ramps, installation of a traffic signal and resurfacing Warnock Avenue between Arthur Street and Crittenden Drive. Motorists are now able to make left turns onto Warnock Avenue from I-65 and from Warnock Avenue onto the interstate.

Construction was performed by MAC Construction and Excavating of New Albany, Ind.