By Lisa Hite
Metro Parks and Recreation and the Army Corps of Engineers recently hosted its second public meeting on the “Beargrass Creek Trail Conceptual Shared Use Path and Ecological Restoration Plan” that will link the Cherokee Park area with the Ohio River via a shared-use path. The plan has drawn a lot of attention from the cycling community and citizens throughout Louisville.
The latest meeting, at the Clifton Center, included a bit of background from the last meeting held in August including comments, suggestions, concerns we received then.
A detailed discussion of several alternatives throughout the stream corridor from Lexington/Grinstead to the confluence with the Ohio, including a little bit of the South Fork of the creek, also followed.
Some alternatives have some pretty big and cool ideas such as following the old route of the Big Four rail line as it came south of the river into the city and using a spiraling bridge structure similar to what Waterfront Park has at the Big Four Bridge. They are calling it “The Little Big Four Bridge. ” It would be the most costly, but is about the only way to have a route that follows the creek, stays off the street, and is able to navigate the big obstacles such as existing railroad, interstate highway and a bridge over the creek that has no possibility of a path going under it. It would be an amazing, iconic landmark if it were to go forward.
There are other more circuitous, partially on-street routes which are less costly as well.
There was a good Q & A after the presentation. Mostly the questions were about how would this be funded, possible timeline, “what does it take for the project to go forward”-kind of questions. There was interest in a nearby impound lot and doing something more productive and environmentally friendly with that. There was a lot of interest in the stream restoration ideas.
At the next meeting, possibly in early December, will present final recommendations about the routes and stream restoration after comments from this meeting have been considered.
If you’d like to check out the presentation from the Oct. 17 meeting, please click here.
Warning, it’s a sizable file, but it’s worth opening and checking out!