After a dreary morning of low-hanging clouds, gusty winds, and off-and-on showers, the sun came out just in time for these evening scenes of the bridges of the Louisville, Kentucky metropolitan area.
The Big Four Bridge carries a pedestrian and cycling path over the Ohio River between Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville, Indiana. After years of abandonment, the former railroad bridge was rehabilitated for non-vehicular use. It is the centerpiece of Louisville’s Waterfront Park and Jeffersonville’s Big Four Station Park.
Nearby is the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge, which carries Interstate 65 southbound over the Ohio River. Designed by the Louisville engineering firm of Hazelet & Erdal, it was constructed by the Allied Structural Steel Company between 1961-63. The six-lane bridge was unnamed when U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. Four days later, Kentucky Governor Bert T. Combs announced that the crossing would be named after Kennedy. It opened for northbound traffic on December 6 and for southbound traffic a few weeks later.
The Ohio River Bridges Project, a multi-state project to relieve traffic congestion in the Louisville region, involved the construction of the Abraham Lincoln Bridge over the Ohio River for six lanes of northbound Interstate 65 traffic. The Lincoln Bridge opened in December 2015. Afterward, the Kennedy Memorial Bridge was closed to traffic while the bridge deck was replaced. It reopened to carry six lanes of southbound Interstate 65 traffic in phases between October 10 and November 14. Tolling on the Kennedy Bridge was implemented in December 2016.
On the outskirts of Louisville is the Lewis and Clark Bridge for Interstate 265.
Proposals to construct a northeastern bypass of the Louisville metropolitan area along the Interstate 265 corridor had been long discussed for decades. Still, it was not until the inception of the Ohio River Bridges Project that completing the Interstate 265 loop between Kentucky and Indiana got underway. Work to finish Interstate 265 began with the building of the US Route 42 interchange in Prospect in May 2006, followed by the boring of two 1,700-foot tunnels under the historic Drummanard Estate and the construction of a cable-stayed suspension bridge over the river.
The new East End Bridge opened to traffic on December 18, 2016. The opening ceremonies included the dedication of the crossing to explorers George Rogers Clark and his brother William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803 to 1806.
While it can be debated that the construction of the Abraham Lincoln Bridge for Interstate 65 northbound may have been overkill considering the completion of the Lewis and Clark Bridge, the completion of two major bridges and a tunnel has provided area motorists relief and fostered massive industrial growth at the former Indiana Army Ammunition Plant in Charlestown, Indiana.