Group files second lawsuit against reconstructing Harrods Creek Bridge

By Chris McGill - bio | email
Posted By Mike Dever - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - River Fields, a local historic preservation and conservancy group, remains opposed the city's idea to expand the historic one-lane bridge over Harrods Creek to two lanes. River Fields wants to see the bridge repaired and restored to its original condition - and they want it kept to one lane.

The conservancy group filed its second lawsuit opposing reconstructing the bridge on April 28. This time it's the U.S. Coast Guard in the cross hairs. According to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, federal agencies are required to consider all alternatives so historical properties can be protected.

In its lawsuits, River Fields claims that the city and the Coast Guard haven't followed those rules. "It sets forth a decision-making process, said Don Cox, an attorney for River Fields. "What we're concerned about is that they didn't consider all the alternatives so historical properties would be adequately protected."

Neither the city nor the Coast Guard would comment for this story due to the impending litigation.

Mac Construction of New Albany was awarded the bridge contract by the city several weeks ago, and their plans are awaiting approval of the State Historic Preservation Office.

Diane Culmer with the State Office (also known as the Kentucky Heritage Council) says they have all they need to determine any impact on historic structures near the bridge. Their final approval can take up to 30 days by law.

The big question now is: will this new lawsuit prompt even further delays in getting traffic moving along Louisville's only scenic byway? If so, the city has promised on numerous occasions to fix the bridge and get it open until a final solution can be resolved.

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