Indiana ramp to Big Four Bridge could open this week - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Indiana ramp to Big Four Bridge could open this week

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- INDOT officials say construction on the Indiana side of the Big Four Bridge is complete, meaning the long-awaited opening of the ramp to the popular pedestrian bridge could happen this week.

After about a year of delays the bridge is now in the hands of Jeffersonville.

"This is just a great day for the city of Jeffersonville,” said Kathy Eaton-McKalip with INDOT.

If you take a close look on the Indiana side, it doesn't look that welcoming. A metal gate, sharp fencing, and plywood still hold people back.

"We've been dying for the Indiana side to open up," said one man walking across from Louisville.

"It's a little frustrating, because we thought it was going to be done April of last year,” said Jeffersonville resident Liz Walker. "I’m excited that we don't have to cross the river just to come on the bridge, to cross the river."

But INDOT says the barrier that's held people back for far too long, is about to be gone.

"Everything's good to go with it," said Eaton-McKalip who was there on Monday when INDOT completed its inspection of the ramp.

"We went through and made sure like all the railing was correct and the lights worked properly,” she said. “We also checked to make sure even minor things such as the stickers were on electrical boxes."

A minor issue was later corrected. Holes in the girder were filled with screen so birds couldn't get inside.

The inspection later passed and INDOT sent a letter to Jeffersonville, giving the city final control.

"That (the letter) is the final nail in the coffin," said Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore who couldn’t be happier about the announcement.

The future boost in tourism and visitors helping to grow the local economy are both just across the river. Mayor Moore says the government headache of dealing with INDOT, is finally over.

"Anytime you're dealing with a state agency you're going to have to be more patient,” said Moore, “and it's very frustrating and we wouldn't be cutting the ribbon to opening that bridge here very soon, if INDOT hadn't been a partner in this."

The Indiana Department of Transportation finished installing handrail lighting for both the Indiana ramp and stair tower to the Big Four bicycle and pedestrian bridge Monday.

Jeffersonville officials must now coordinate the opening of the ramp with the Waterfront Development Corporation in Louisville.

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