After years of waiting it looks like a pedestrian bridge connecting the Belvedere with the Muhammad Ali Center plaza could soon be moving forward. The design for the pedestrian connector over Sixth Street designed by Joseph & Joseph Architects was unveiled by Mayor Fischer and Ali Center and Kentucky Center officials on January 13. The new bridge will provide seamless connection of Louisville’s riverfront elevated plazas stretching from Fourth to past Sixth streets.
While the design of 179-foot long, nine-foot wide bridge isn’t as exciting as some pedestrian bridges being built by other cities across the country, it will serve a functional role in knitting together these plazas. And the price can’t be beat at around $850,000. The city will chip in $410,000 from its capital budget and PARC, the city’s parking authority, will pay for the rest.
Shown on models of the Ali Center for years, the bridge was eventually proposed to be funded and built by the Museum Plaza project that was abandoned last year, leaving the future of the bridge uncertain. The structure helps fix the awkward dead-end condition on the western edge of the Belvedere where pedestrians are forced to turn back or descend several floors through a parking garage, find their own way back to the sidewalk, risk a dangerous unmarked mid-block crossing, and ascend another large stair back to the raised Ali Center plaza.
The bridge will be clad in metal panels with what appears to be a half-round shape on their edges and will be supported by the Ali Center garage and two new concrete piers. The project is expected to break ground in the spring and could be completed by the end of the year.