Safety remains a top priority, transportation officials say
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 21, 2014) – As walkers, runners and cyclists return to downtown Louisville streets for races and events this year, they may notice some changes in routes to ensure their safety during construction of the Ohio River Bridges Project.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Walsh Construction Company have been working for months with Louisville Metro Government and event organizers to avoid streets which are part of the construction zone and ensure the continued success of downtown events.
Events, walks and runs will continue in Waterfront Park. Walsh officials will maintain pedestrian access along River Road between the east and west sides of Waterfront Park at I-65 through the duration of the project.
“Waterfront Park staff appreciates the efforts of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Walsh Construction to ensure access from one end of the park to the other,” said David Karem, president of Waterfront Development Corp. “The park continues to be welcoming to events.”
Construction activities will have limited impact on River Road in 2014, with activity ramping up in 2015 and 2016. The Purple Lot at Waterfront Park (River Road) is a staging area for Walsh equipment and materials and must remain open for construction vehicles and deliveries.
Construction activities won’t prevent organizers from conducting events in downtown Louisville.
“Our discussions with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Walsh Construction and the Louisville Metro Police Department have resulted in recommended routes that allow safe continued use of downtown Louisville streets for special events while also allowing bridge construction to proceed without unnecessary interruption,” said Metro Public Works Director Vanessa Burns.
To ensure maximum safety, Walsh and KYTC recommend adjusting routes within downtown Louisville to be contained completely to the east or west of the affected I-65 corridor to avoid crossing into the work zone. (See maps below of work zones and construction access areas.) The corridor extends from south of River Road to Muhammad Ali Boulevard, with access and safety along roads and ramps adjacent to Interstate 65 affected.
Safety the top priority
Planning in advance and making route adjustments within downtown Louisville will help ensure a safe and successful event.
Possible work zone hazards include:
♦ Uneven roadway surfaces created by utility trenches in the road
♦ Steel plates in the road creating tripping hazards
♦ Maintenance of traffic materials (cones, barrels, construction fencing)
♦ Construction equipment and materials impeding sidewalks and roadways
In addition to the safety concerns, there are a number of routes that Walsh Construction must have access to for transporting workers, heavy equipment and supplies (see maps).
The Louisville Metro Police Department has developed a number of alternative routes and locations for downtown events, some of which have been certified for races.
Work on the Downtown Crossing of the Ohio River Bridges Project will continue through December 2016. Crews are currently working Monday through Saturday, with work on Sundays as needed.