Saturday, May 18 2013 7:54 AM EDT2013-05-18 11:54:38 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Walkers and bicycle riders will soon get their own special place to cross the Ohio River. Click on the slide show above for an advance look at what the $26 million Big Four Bridge renovation looks like.
It has spectacular views of downtown Louisville and the Ohio River. The $26 million project will open to the public Thursday morning following a short ceremony at 11 o'clock.
"This is the most anticipated part of Waterfront Park," says the Deputy Director of the Waterfront Development Corporation, Mike Kimmel. He took WDRB on a tour of the old railroad bridge.
Turning the Big Four into a pedestrian bridge has been in the planning stages for more than 20 years. Getting funding for the project proved to be a big challenge.
Kimmel says people will love the views but there is much more to appreciate. "They are also going to love the architecture of the bridge, it has kind of a cathedral vault to it," says Kimmel.
The Big Four will be open 24 hours a day. It has plenty of lighting and benches to take a break and enjoy the views. There are even speakers in the middle of the bridge where you can hear music.
As a tribute to its past as a railroad bridge, what looks like a rail line runs through the middle and will serve as a bike lane with walkers on both sides.
Although the bridge is finally opening, an effort continues to raise $2 million to add LED lighting to showcase the bridge at night.
Construction of the ramp to the bridge on the Indiana side is expected to be finished by summer.