City, developers seek input on project aimed at making stretch of River Road more appealing

Plans to make concrete portion of River Road more appealing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - There are plans to transform a section of River Road in downtown Louisville, and community members have been invited to a public forum to share their input.

The area being discussed is River Road between 3rd and 7th streets. The plan is to transform a dark stretch of River Road into something more visually-appealing and user-friendly.

The public already has been invited to share their input on the River Road transformation at two forums.
The public already has been invited to share their input on the River Road transformation at two forums.
The goal is to make a stretch of River Road in near downtown Louisville more appealing.
The goal is to make a stretch of River Road in near downtown Louisville more appealing.

“We got a lot of complaints,” Louisville Metro Public Works spokesman James Maynard said. “It’s not comfortable if you ride your bike or walk down there you are meandering around columns. It’s dark so you can’t see anything.”

Maynard said the portion of the Louisville Loop is rather difficult to traverse due to the Interstate 64 and Belvedere pillars that create blind spots and allow only small passageways for pedestrians and cyclists. The Louisville Loop is divided from River Road by a concrete barrier and provides no access points with the exception of an opening near 6th Street. Public Works officials say current traffic counts show there is excess capacity along this section of River Road that could provide some flexibility in redesigning this space.

The preliminary designs for this project propose to expand the Louisville Loop by removing the northernmost westbound lane of River Road between 4th and 7th streets. Project consultants have conducted traffic modeling that shows this will have a minimal impact on the existing travel times along this section of River Road.

Maynard shared three rendering options with WAVE 3 News that his team is seeking input on from the community.

Option A: With a vehicular barrier

Option B: Has a raised shoulder

Option C: Has a six-foot shoulder and curb

The design changes also will align the roadway with the River Road West Extension Project, which should be completed in the next few years.

People who walk along the area said improvements need to be made.

“I think more paths and bikeways are always good,” Aaron Tomes said.

Added Christy Weikert: “It’s just a great area for people to enjoy. It would be so much nicer, a little bit of work.”

Louisville Metro staff, and the project consultants, will be hosting open houses to discuss the project with the public and receive feedback. The meeting is taking place Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts at 715 West Main St..

Click here for more information on the project.

Copyright 2019 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.