How the "Big Four Railroad Bridge" connecting IN & KY became a bike/ped bridge - Bridges and Tunnels

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

The Big Four Bridge was initially conceived in by Jeffersonville city leaders in 1885, which led to the formation of the Louisville & Jeffersonville Bridge Company in 1887. 2 A location for the crossing was soon approved by the United States Army Corps of Engineers despite protests from the riverboat industry.

The construction of a single-track railroad bridge began on October 10, 1888. 2 During its erection, 37 workers perished, twelve of whom drowned after a caisson that held back water from the river failed. . . .

The Big Four was acquired by the New York Central Railroad (NYC) in 1906 who continued to operate it as a separate entity until 1930. The NYC merged with the Pennsylvania Railroad to form Penn Central in 1968. At that time, all traffic on the Big Four was diverted to the Fourteenth Street Bridge to save on operating and maintenance costs, and in 1969, the lengthy approach spans were sold for scrap. . . .

A movement to convert the Big Four Bridge into a pedestrian and bicycle crossing picked up political steam in the 1990s when the Indiana Department of Transportation pledged $1 million while the city of Jeffersonville pledged $200,000 towards the proposed $2.8 million cost to build the Indiana approach. The Kentucky approach was projected to cost $4 million while the renovation of the main spans was slightly less at $3 million. 7 8 9

Work to rehabilitate the Big Four Bridge into a pedestrian and bicycle crossing began in mid-July 2009 and by February 2013, pedestrians were allowed to access the Big Four Bridge from Louisville. 1 The Jeffersonville approach ramp opened on May 20, 2014.

MoBikeFed comment: This story sounds like so many of our bridges in Missouri. A few of our have a happy ending, as the Big Four Bridge in IN/KY did.

A similar bridge that is looking to have a positive outcome in the Kansas City area is the Rock Island RR bridge over the Kaw River: