Thursday April 4, 2013
Walkway links the Ali Center to the Belvedere,
other downtown attractions
Just in time for all the spring events and activities downtown, the new pedestrian bridge that links the Muhammad Ali Center’s plaza with the Belvedere is officially open to citizens. Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Mayor Greg Fischer, along with Muhammad Ali Center President and CEO Donald Lassere, Kentucky Center President Stephen Klein and others, took the first steps across the walkway today.
“The bridge will provide a great link from the Ali Center to the Belvedere and all of our downtown attractions,” Fischer said. “Pedestrians will have safe access over Sixth Street, and our citizens and visitors will have direct access to enjoy all the waterfront amenities Louisville has to offer.”
In celebration of the walkway’s opening, the Muhammad Ali Center is offering free admission from 10:30a.m.-2p.m., including access to the brand new Global Shoes exhibit. “The Kentucky Show” at the Kentucky Center is offering free admission all day. There will be other activities on the Ali Center Plaza, including a “sidewalk sale” of clearance merchandise, raffles, an appearance from The Kizito Cookie Lady, and more.
“The Ali Center is extremely grateful to Mayor Fischer and the city for turning the bridge into a reality," Lassere said. "Plans for a pedway connecting the Belvedere to the Ali Center Plaza have spanned more than a decade. To have this project come to fruition means better connectivity to the entire downtown area, an opportunity to utilize our beautiful plaza for city events, and an easier and more attractive entrance to the Center."
“By creating pathways for its citizens to move more freely and easily throughout the Main Street corridor and the downtown area, the city of Louisville is connecting the people and places that make this city great,” Stephen Klein, president of the Kentucky Center, said. “Now, the nearly half-million people who attend the Kentucky Center each year can easily explore our neighborhood, increasing the viability of downtown, and in turn expanding economic opportunities as well.”
The 170-foot-long walkway is nine feet wide, with exterior metal panels that complement the Ali Center plaza’s design. It is structurally supported by the existing Ali Center garage and two new concrete piers. The total project cost is just over $911,000.
Work began on the walkway last October. It was built by Whittenburg Construction, with project management by Tom Pifer of Metro Public Works.