Group against east end bridge honored nationally

Meme Sweets Runyon
Meme Sweets Runyon
Charles Brinbaum
Charles Brinbaum

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The talk of what's wrong with our current bridges is sparking more conversation about new bridges, including the East End. WAVE 3 has learned that two homes on Transylvania Beach near River Road are being torn down for that project. The demolition is happening despite opposition from at least one preservation group, which was recognized nationally Thursday for its work trying to preserve that very area.

According to John Stacksteder, project manager for the Ohio River Bridges Project, said they have been acquiring houses in the right of way of the bridge despite a lawsuit from River Fields. The preservation group was honored Thursday with a national award for their work in the Ohio River Corridor that they hope will make people stop and take a broader look at what's going on.

Ask anyone who lives along the corridor and they will likely say they are there because of the serenity it offers. It's that natural setting Meme Sweets Runyon is trying to preserve.

"It's very important for the public and future generations to have environmental resources which are important for our quality of life," said Runyon.

For her efforts, The Cultural Landscape Foundation is recognizing Runyon's group, River Fields, as one of 12 protecting at risk areas.

"Our role is to come here and say landscape is like a collection of Russian stacking dolls. You stack them up. And the Ohio River Corridor is one of those big dolls that holds all of this together," explained Charles Brinbaum, the founder of TCLF.

It's that feeling that both TCLF and River Fields thinks will be lost with an east end bridge. It hasn't stopped the project. Stacksteder said two homes on Transylvania Beach are part of the 100 homes they have been buying up for the last year to clear the right of way for the bridge. Despite that work, River Fields still has a lawsuit against the project.

"I think the most important thing is for people to understand the traffic and safety issues," said Runyon. "There's a great deal of misinformation about where they are which is downtown and where they would be resolved which is downtown."

They hope their award will make people take notice of that opinion.

"When you look at the impact of something like this project all I can say is when it's gone, it's gone," says Birnbaum.

While Stacksteder said they are about three-fourths of the way done buying those houses in the way of the bridge, the two knocked down on Transylvania Beach are a special circumstance. Both homes were flooded in the spring and too damaged to repair.

Stacksteder said they are currently finishing up their environmental report and hope to have public meetings about the construction by the beginning of the new year.

For more information on River Fields award, log onto

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