PORTLAND, Ky. (WDRB) – Mayor Greg Fischer announced Monday that plans to extend Waterfront Park into west Louisville are moving forward.

The $35 million project, titled Waterfront Park Phase IV, will connect the downtown core to the Portland neighborhood and west Louisville up to 13th Street. The park will include fountains, picnic areas, play spaces, a boardwalk and multi-use paths. River Road will also be extended to what is now Rowan Street.

The connectivity and beautification is a welcome site to many living and doing business in the west end.

“We have felt landlocked and unable to have recreational access to the beautiful river we could see but not touch,” added Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton.

Fischer believes this project will spur more growth in the area.

“When it comes to the future of our city no matter what part of town you live in, we are all in this together," he said. "And it is very important that every neighborhood is a safe and healthy neighborhood. And great parks are obviously part of that.”

In 2015, metro government allocated $950,000 for planning and acquisition of the 22 acres needed to extend the park. The Waterfront Development Corporation has acquired all the land and developed renderings of what the park could look like. Now, the group will continue to raise public and private funds to finance the project.

Part of the park will also serve a dual purpose. The Metropolitan Sewer District has purchased 4.8 acres of the park property to complete a deep tunnel basin, which will end right underneath the park.

“We’re reducing and eliminating the overflows to our waterways from the sewer system,” said Brian Bingham with MSD. “We’re going to end up having the pump station that empties that tunnel back out and into our system down at the far end of this site.”

MSD has until 2020 to complete its part of the project. In that time, city leaders intend to raise the rest of the funds needed to build the park. It is expected to take at least six years to complete all of Phase IV.

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