Overhead lights on Clark Memorial Bridge won't be replaced for n - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Overhead lights on Clark Memorial Bridge won't be replaced for now

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In June of 2013, changes were made to overhead lighting on the Clark Memorial Bridge. It was removed after a piece of an arm that held the light fixtures fell.

"And all of the arms, the fixtures on the bridge, had lots of cracks in them, so we decided for safety reasons that we were going to take them down because we didn't want to risk one of those heavy pieces falling off," says Andrea Clifford with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Officials also discovered that the bolts securing the lights in place were worn and corroded.

Although transportation officials say there were no structural issues with the bridge itself, they say they wanted to be proactive to make sure people were safe.

"But the whole arm itself, if it were to fall, they weigh well over 50 pounds," Clifford says.

But now, some pedestrians and cyclists say the bridge isn't well lit at night for people crossing. There is only purple decorative lighting, but not the original overhead lighting.

"For that to be unlit is unforgivable," says Louisville Cycling advocate Jackie Green.

Green says he understands the lights had to come down for safety concerns.

"What I don't understand is not replacing that with something that gives pedestrians enough light to cross the river safely," Green says. "That's a very isolated bridge. We need light."

Transportation officials say there is actually no requirement that the bridge be lit.

Clifford says there's no funding to replace the lighting right now.

"That is something that would need to be funded through the Highway Plan, and of course the legislature votes on that plan, and a new project would have to be funded in that manner," Clifford says.

Green says it's disheartening to see other bridges getting funding, and the Clark Memorial still without overhead lights. 

He's hoping this will eventually change.

"We need for people to be a priority," Green says. "That's not the case right now."

The Transportation Cabinet says if there are pedestrians who feel lighting is necessary, they should contact their state representative or state senator to help push for the project.

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