Firefighters are training for emergencies on the Big Four Bridge - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Firefighters are training for emergencies on the Big Four Bridge

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Louisville, KY (WDRB) -- Crews are working on installing the railing on the Big Four Bridge. It'll be 54 inches tall. 

Workers are busy trying to get this pedestrian and cycling bridge ready for a soft opening expected at the end of the month.

Firefighter training is also underway on how to respond to emergencies. Louisville Fire and Rescue spent Friday afternoon walking the bridge and brainstorming.  They say the biggest challenge there is access, getting onto the bridge quickly. Captain Jonathon Jones with Louisville Fire and Rescue says, "To the foot of the bridge we're talking about a minute and a half to two minutes. Gaining access up to the top of the bridge, we're not sure yet."

Another issue is the weight limit on the bridge. Fire trucks are too heavy.

Lieutenant Colonel Glen Nally with Louisville Fire and Rescue says, "We've got a utility type vehicle, possibly utilizing that as access from ground up to this area."

There is also a concern about jumpers, people trying to commit suicide on this bridge. Firefighters say they've already discussed it and are prepared. Jones says, "Our operations are probably going to be the same as any other bridge. We're going to respond to the 4th Street Wharf and then come up with the boats."

The Waterfront Development Corporation says there will be no emergency phones on the bridge because many people will have their cell phones to call 911.

Once the bridge opens, there is only one way off and on from the Louisville side. The Waterfront Development Corporation says a formal dedication is expected next summer when the Jeffersonville ramp is finished.

In the meantime, firefighters say they'll continue to work on the emergency response plan, which is expected to be ready in about a week. Firefighter training will continue through the weekend.

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