Big Four Bridge delay means longer wait for businesses, resident - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Big Four Bridge delay means longer wait for businesses, residents

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- If you were counting on being able to walk the entire Big Four Bridge very soon, think again. You're going to have to turn around at the Indiana side for a few more months.

The city of Jeffersonville originally estimated the ramp would be finished last April, then August, then November.  The new deadline is next spring. That leaves local businesses and residents cooling their heels.

As the name reveals, the owner of Big Four Burgers and Beer, is tying his new restaurant to the success of the Big Four Bridge.  Matt McMahan believes the foot traffic coming from Louisville will help boost his bottom line.  "I was not really dead set on opening another restaurant in this economy, but I think this location, with the bridge, those two together will definitely be successful," he said.

McMahan had planned for his November opening to coincide with the announced completion of the bridge.  He's disappointed the work will now not be done until spring, but says he'll be fine, as long as the delay is not longer.

"If it doesn't open in the spring, that would definitely hurt us a little bit. I'm hoping they at least hit that deadline," said McMahan.

Transportation officials say the issue is the time it takes to manufacture and install the new metal handrails, including some specially-lighted rails.

The Indiana Dept. of Transportation referred any further comment to the city of Jeffersonville.

Mayor Mike Moore declined to discuss the delay on-camera.  But not everyone is unhappy about the delay.

"To be honest with you, it really doesn't bother us. I'm sure it bothers the businesses over here," said Jeffersonville resident Jerry Griffith who lives near the end of the bridge.

Griffith says she's keeping an open mind, but has real concerns.  "When it's going to drop right in your front yard, and you have these thousands of people, we're not too sure how noisy it's going to be. Is it going to bring more crime?"

But both bridge skeptics and supporters agree on one thing.  "It is a little embarrassing. I think Jeffersonville has had some delays that are probably out of their control. But they're getting things together," said McMahan.

Jeffersonville city engineer Andy Crouch would not give a specific date for the opening of the bridge ramp. He said it would be sometime "after the first of the year."

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