Jeffersonville begins demolition for Big Four Bridge Project - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Jeffersonville begins demolition of buildings for Big Four Bridge project

Posted: Updated:
Demolition of buildings on Nov. 1 in Jeffersonville for the Big Four bridge project. Demolition of buildings on Nov. 1 in Jeffersonville for the Big Four bridge project.
Larry Thomas Larry Thomas
Nancy Garner Nancy Garner
The Jeffersonville, IN end of the Big Four Bridge The Jeffersonville, IN end of the Big Four Bridge
Sketch to show how the Jeffersonville side of the Big Four pedestrian bridge will look when finished. Sketch to show how the Jeffersonville side of the Big Four pedestrian bridge will look when finished.

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - Work is finally underway for the Jeffersonville end of the Big Four Bridge. City crews were out Tuesday demolishing properties to pave the way for the multi-million dollar project. Once this project is done, the bridge will connect Jeffersonville to Louisville.

Two blocks from the Big Four Bridge, is the first visible step that the bridge that goes nowhere is moving forward.

"We've been working on this for quite a while," said Larry Thomas, communications director for the city of Jeffersonville.

The $22 million project will transform the rusting, century-old Big Four Bridge into an Ohio River crosswalk for walkers and bikers.

Tuesday, city crews took down a home at the intersection of Mulberry and Chestnut to make way for the Big Four Bridge Ramp. Nancy Garner lives nearby and came out to see the demolition.

"To have a walk across the bridge yeah, that would get more walking in," said Garner.

"It will actually curve overhead," said Thomas. "We are on Mulberry Street right now. It will curve just before it gets to Chestnut Street and will actually land at the corner of Chestnut and Pearl.'

Garner wishes one of the buildings that stood in the way of the project didn't have to go.

"I work with the homeless and the regret is the Jaycees building had to be removed," said Garner.

The first building to go, the former Jeffersonville Jaycees building, had to be torn down because it sits where the Big Four Bridge ramp will land. Next in line are boarded up houses spray-painted with the words, "no copper."

Jeffersonville city leaders had hoped to start demolition weeks ago, but the delay in the publication of a legal notice postponed the project.

While Louisville's side of the project has taken shape, Jeffersonville residents will hear the noise of the construction for some time for the end result city leaders say is worth it.

"There is really a lot going on that bridge will connect on both sides of the river," said Thomas.

Some of the properties being torn down have to do with other projects like the flood buyout program and the downtown canal project.

The total cost for the Big Four Bridge is $22 million. Early next year, Jeffersonville will begin construction on its $10 million Big Four Bridge ramp. $8 million of that will be paid for by the Indiana Department of Transportation. The final $2 million will be paid for locally with tax increment finance dollars.

The Big Four Bridge is expected to open in 2013.

Copyright 2011 WAVE News. All rights reserved.