Waterfront Park consulting with designer for westward expansion - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Waterfront Park consulting with designer for westward expansion

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The plan to expand Waterfront Park westward is now more than mere talk, as developers have teamed with a design consultant with innovative ideas for the park's attractions.

If the plans for the park's fourth phase become a reality, a 22-acre site just west of 9th Street and now largely vacant land would become an extension of Waterfront Park.

With the opening of the Big Four Bridge in February 2013 on the Kentucky side, Waterfront Park is now complete.

"We call it a conceptual master plan for the site," said Waterfront Development Corporation President David Karem.

Waterfront Park is working with designer Andy Knight of MKSK, a landscape architecture, urban design and planning company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio with offices in Lexington, Ky.

Knight has come up with some ideas of what an expanded park might look like.

"He has this whimsical idea of a large Ferris wheel," said Karem, "a lot of people have referred to the fact there is one of these in London.

Karem is referring to the London attraction called the London Eye, which is located not far from the Parliament Building along the Thames River.

Another feature, according to Karem, is an area in the park that would encourage people to exercise.

"We are asking him to develop something we call 'exerscape' -- it is a word we made up," Karem said.

Rather than just a traditional playground, the attraction would have people exercise on some unique workout equipment, something you would not normally find in a park.

"He's come up with some sort of in-ground trampoline, pieces of equipment that look like they are playful and fun but are really designed to give you a good workout," explained Karem.

Karem says a key element to extending the park would be for River Road to be expanded westward.

Knight will estimate how much all of this will cost and how it would be paid for.

A final report will come out in late spring or early summer. And then the debate can begin on whether to proceed.

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