The New Big Four Bridge

One of the things Louisvillians are most excited about this year is the opening of a bridge. It doesn't sound exciting, but if you had any idea how long this project has been in the works, you'd certainly understand the amount of hype that's been built. After many years of talking and planning, the Big Four Bridge is finally open--and soon, Indiana will complete work on their half of the bridge. When that's finished, residents in Louisville and Indiana can walk, run, jog, and ride their bikes over the Ohio River and into their beautiful neighboring state.

The Big Four Bridge has been around for decades, but back in the early 1900s it existed for a different purpose. Built in 1895, there was actually a railroad on the bridge, and it derived its name from the fact that the rails at one time went through four big cities--Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, and St. Louis. In 1969, access rails onto the bridge were removed, and people wondered--what's the point of the bridge? It no longer functioned as a railroad, cars couldn't drive on it...it rested over a beautiful segment of the Ohio River, so what was to be done with it?

For years and years politicians and residents spitballed the idea of turning the Big Four Bridge into a pedestrian bridge, and finally, after more than half a century of debate, the bridge has opened. On February 7th of this year, people were allowed to walk onto the bridge. From their vantage point on the bridge, Louisvillians have a gorgeous view of the river below and the cities that lie on both sides. The Big Four Bridge can be accessed through Waterfront Park, a big open space of land in Downtown Louisville. Enjoy the fountains, the eateries (Joe's Crab Shack On The River, anybody?), and take a stroll on the Big Four Bridge. After all, it's only been decades in the making.

Construction on the Indiana side of the bridge is expected to wrap up in the early summer of this year. When that's done, pedestrians in Louisville and Indiana will be able to cross over the Ohio River and enjoy a day of fun and sightseeing. It's certainly a tourist draw, and the people of Louisville and Indiana are more than thrilled to see their old bridge put to use once more.

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