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Rural King

Plan proposed to remove I-64 traffic from downtown Louisville

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I read today in the Courier-Journal a man named Tyler Allen has proposed that I-64 traffic should be re-routed away from downtown Louisville and onto a new East End Bridge, in contrast to the plans under the current "Ohio Bridges Project, in order for Louisville to reclaim all of downtown. He also contends his option will be substantially cheaper to carry out. Local, state, and other elected officials of the region seem impressed be doubtful over the viability of the plan since so much of I-64 traffic is local and would create new traffic issues for the downtown area.

The plan sounds nice, but with so many elected folks saying the plan won't work it seems doubtful it will get any traction, or that it is even a viable plan. I thought it was interesting though he has gotten this much attention for it in light that it has garnered so little support. Its good to know though that ambitious people are out there being inventive and pro-active in proposing potential alternatives to issues facing their locals.

For the whole Courier-Journal Article go here:

http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.d...EWS01/511250354

Here is the current plan's website:

http://www.kyinbridges.com/

Here is the site for Allen's alternative plan:

http://www.8664.org/

So there is alot of good resources and information for everyone.

So what does everyone think? Good plan. Unworkable? Could it be made workable? Etc.

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Building the Interstate on the river was a huge mistake. Everyone pretty much accepts that now. However, reversing that error will simply divert the mistakes to other areas.

From what I've experienced firsthand, I don't like the way the Interstate basically ends coming into Memphis. To an outsider, it makes it look like they just ran out of money and stopped the road.

More importantly, I think from an economic standpoint this is a risky. With this proposal, you are basically diverting all of the I-64 traffic around thie city rather than through it. To compound matters, the new route would take motorists through Southern Indiana (once the East End bridge is completed). Good for Indiana, bad for Kentucky.

With all of the new projects downtown, I want everyone to see what an exciting city Louisville really is. Even if they don't stop, perhaps they will be persuaded enough to return on a future visit.

On the other hand, if they simply pass through on a boring bypass through the suburbs they'll probably be asking 'How much farther to St. Louis?'

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SLC: This only agrees with my points outlined in previous 8664 threads,

such as,

MTR Post, UrbanOhio thread

Kentucky structures on the "Final List of Nationally and Exceptionally

Significant Features of the Federal Interstate Highway System" is the

Cochran Hill Tunnel (1970), the Interstate 64 rest-areas (1960), and

the welcome center for Interstate 24 at Paducah.

Also of related news, the 8664 is picking up steam as it has received

support of intent by a senator! Traffic studies are now being conducted

for the feasibility of 8664, and given that Interstate 64 cannot be

widened between Interstate 65 and 264, it only legitimises their goal.

"Any effort to widen Interstate 64 between the Watterson Expressway and

downtown would meet with a formidable new roadblock.

The Cochran Hill Tunnel, which carries I-64 traffic through Cherokee

Park, has been named an "exceptionally significant" feature of the

interstate system by the Federal Highway Administration, meaning it

would be protected under federal historic preservation guidelines. "Article

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City, state at odds over I-64 design

Key --

1. The difference is ~$10 million over the design of the girders.

1a. One uses the conventional steel girders but requires more pillars -- in the Great Lawn of the Riverfront park. Cost: $39 million.

1b. The other uses haunched steel girders -- similar in design to the concrete 'arches' that grace Kentucky's interstates and parkways -- that date to the 1960s. Cost: $49 million.

2. The roadway will be elevated a higher 8- to 10-feet higher. The width will be ~60 feet over the Great Lawn, down from the first proposal of 90 feet.

3. The preferred plan was a 550-foot, arched section over the Great Lawn - no supports in the park itself. No obstructions of the view from ground level! (What happened to this great idea?)

4. With Museum Plaza, a 62-story avant-garde tower approved by the KY Senate for financing that will be along the river, this highway really needs to go or be less obstructive!

Article information: "City, state at odds on I-64 design, By Sheldon S. Shafer, The Courier-Journal, Tuesday, March 13, 2007"

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