Official date set for opening of Big Four Bridge ramp - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Official date set for opening of Big Four Bridge ramp

Soon the mayors of Louisville and Jeffersonville will meet on the Big Four Bridge for a ribbon cutting as the Indiana ramp is set to finally open. Soon the mayors of Louisville and Jeffersonville will meet on the Big Four Bridge for a ribbon cutting as the Indiana ramp is set to finally open.
Lynn Rhodea Lynn Rhodea
Mayor Mike Moore Mayor Mike Moore

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) – The countdown is on. Soon the mayors of Louisville and Jeffersonville will meet on the Big Four Bridge for a ribbon cutting as the Indiana ramp is set to finally open.

The opening date was approved Tuesday night by the Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission to put up temporary lighting by April 30, so the Indiana side could open.

This has been a long time coming for all Big Four Bridge users and especially some new businesses close by in downtown Jeffersonville.

"We want to be open for Thunder and that will be our first big day," said Pearl Street Treats owner Lynn Rhodea.

When Rhodea bought her small house in downtown Jeffersonville in the late 90s, she couldn't have predicted the prime real estate she now owns.

"For far too long the mighty Ohio River has separated the people of Kentucky and Southern Indiana, so I am just delighted that the separation will be there no more," said Rhodea.

For months she has worked to turn her old home into a frozen yogurt shop called Pearl Street Treats and it sits just at the base of the Big Four Bridge.

"We will have a walk in, walk out shop where you can come in and get your treat and then go out and enjoy our lovely, quaint downtown," said Rhodea.

Mayor Mike Moore said the downtown will be booming once the long awaited Indiana ramp opens for good.

"We've got several new restaurants, we've got a couple of new micro breweries that are about to open, so it will give everybody from Louisville a chance to come explore downtown Jeff," said Moore.

The last step is lighting. While Moore said permanent lighting will still take some time the Federal Highway Commission and Indiana Department of Transportation agreed to allow temporary lights to be put up so the ramp can open the Wednesday before Derby. That's the same day as the Great Steamboat Race.

"It is temporary lighting, but it is a permanent opening," said Moore.

It's the news Rhodea has been waiting to hear. "That is just thrilling I cannot wait," said Rhodea. "There's been some growing pains and some anxiety while we're waiting, but that's all to be expected so I just can't wait."

Once the bridge is open with the temporary lights there will a barricade up along the side of the ramp where the permanent lights are being installed. You will still have access to the ramp.

Moore said city is under budget for the project and the state will pay 80 percent of the $21,000 to put up the temporary lights.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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