SLIDESHOW: Jeffersonville breaks ground on Big Four Bridge ramp - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SLIDESHOW: Jeffersonville breaks ground on Big Four Bridge streetscape

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- It's a half-million dollar welcome mat at the base of the Big Four Bridge in Jeffersonville -- a redesigned Chestnut Street that will connect to the bridge. 

Jay Ellis of Jeffersonville Main Street said Thursday, "This project is totally going to reinforce a critical link. When thousands of people come off that bridge, this will be their gateway to historic downtown."

People will see a new colored concrete road on Chestnut, along with new sidewalks, lighting, and period landscaping.

Tom Woods of PACE Contracting explains, "On Monday July 15th, we are going to close the road for 60 days until September 15 or sooner.  We are asking the public and drivers to be patient.  We'll be getting it done just as soon as possible."

For now, these are common reactions from people heading across the Big Four Bridge from Louisville when asked about the Jeffersonville side:

"There's nothing there."
"Long way down!"

The opening of the ramp on the southern Indiana side was delayed after neighbors in Jeffersonville voiced concern about the lighting on the ramp.  Some worried the bright lights used on the Kentucky side would be too bright for a residential neighborhood.

Now people like Nancy Eklund say they're just ready for it to be finished:  "We just want them to have something to make them stay when they come down here."

That's in the works, according to Rob Waiz, Jeffersonville Redevelopment and Economic Development Director:  "For downtown, we're already talking with three new restaurants."

The plan is for all this to come together at the same time, with the streetscaping and the opening of the Big Four Bridge now set for November.  Then people will no longer have to get to the end, look down, and turn around.

Jeffersonville received a $250,000 state grant to held fund the project.

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