Jeffersonville eyes canal to control flooding, attract tourists - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Jeffersonville eyes canal to control flooding, attract tourists


Jeffersonville leaders hope a canal can fix flooding problems and bring tourists to town.


The canal plans, announced Thursday after a feasibility study, offer a "flooding solution" and  visions of San Antonio and Indianapolis, where canals are big attractions.

Jeffersonville looks to build its canal over the next ten years.


Remember the 5-6 inches of rain that fell in 75 minutes August 4th?


"The problem is, the water has got to get out someplace. We're pumping it some place," said Mayor Tom Galligan, placing an emphasis on the last "some place," as he referred to storm water overflows. 


It's why Jeffersonville leaders want to build a $53 million canal -- to carry away messes like the four feet of water that flooded parts of town that day.


That "some place" would be the Ohio River, where visitor Frank Truesdell took serene, sunset pictures. 





Jeffersonville leaders believe the canal would work best traveling along Mulberry Street.

The canal would run 3300 feet east and south from near 8th Street in what is one of the city's most flood-prone areas.




The plan calls for the canal to empty into the Ohio River near what is now the end of Mulberry Street. It would not interfere with the city's plans eventually to connect to the end of the Big Four pedestrian bridge.

An artist's rendering shows the 30-feet wide canal, flanked by two, 20-feet wide walkways in a park-like setting.  Engineers told residents the water would be no deeper than four feet, and that the water would always be flowing toward the river.





The estimated cost? Almost 53 million dollars, paid through higher sewer rates and new business attracted to the area.










The feasibility study cost the city $300,000.



It calls the Mulberry Street area "blighted and underutilized."


Now, Jeffersonville must convince the federal government the canal is a good idea, instead of a traditional underground pipe to carry away the flood waters and occasional sewer overflows.


"If it doesn't end up being something like a dump, it would be great. If everybody starts throwing their leftovers in it, but if they maintain it and keep it up, of course that's a cost factor," Truesdell said.


"We'll be able to pay for this canal by the things we do with redevelopment," Galligan said.




"If they set it up and they make it a beautiful place to come... like Louisville's put in by the river... that's nice," Truesdell said.

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