Mayor waits on others to open the K&I bridge

K&IIn 2013 the mayor established his lack of commitment to opening the K&I bridge.  “On 13 February 2013 a meeting took place in the offices of the Louisville Waterfront Development Corporation (LWDC).  Participants included personnel from the cities of New Albany, Jeffersonville, Clarksville and Louisville, Congressman Young’s office, Jefferson County Attorney’s office, LWDC, Ohio River Greenway Commission, and others.  There was one agenda item – the K&I bridge.” “The committee’s plan was to produce a document addressing every possible concern that Norfolk Southern might have regarding opening the K&I bridge to human-powered transportation. The planned document was also to address the Kentuckiana River Trail, K&I bridge history, endorsements of opening the bridge, examples of other rail/trail bridges running parallel and harmoniously, the Big Four Bridge success, etc.” “Despite months of meetings, the committee produced nothing more than a one-sheet outline of the document. The committee met on Nov. 1 and established a self-imposed (but long-overdue) deadline of Dec. 2 for unveiling the presentation to the group. It also established a goal of Dec. 16 to present the document to the CEO of Norfolk Southern. The Dec. 2 meeting was cancelled. The 16th pasted.”

At the Nov. 1, 2013 meeting Jackie Green asked: “Is anyone beside me uncomfortable with the fact that we are headed to Norfolk within the next couple of weeks and yet, we don’t have a copy of any page of the proposed document we are taking with us?”  The question was meet with hostility and the group never meet again.  Had the mayor been committed to the project, he would have communicated that commitment and Metro employees would have produced their parts of the document.  

The analysis is simple. The mayor’s lack of commitment to the west end of Waterfront Park speaks volumes to the railroad. Why should Norfolk Southern open the K&I bridge when Louisville will not invest in the the western reaches of the water front? Four years later, the mayor continues to wait on K&I to make the first move.

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