Photo Essay: Louisville’s Big Four Bridge

This week, I’m taking a hiatus from training to let a fledgling runner’s knee situation clear up. I ran too hard on some worn-out shoes after my last race, and the past few weeks have left my knees aching. Here’s hoping that ugly four-letter word, REST, will pay off. So since I didn’t run today, I figured I would at least get outside and take some photos of a new favorite landmark in the city.

The Big Four Bridge is a former rail bridge completed in the late 1800s that spans the Ohio River just east of downtown. It’s been vacant for as long as I can remember, with no approaches on either the Kentucky or Indiana side. That all changed last month when it opened as a repurposed pedestrian walkway linking Louisville and Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Location of the Big Four Bridge in relation to downtown and Indiana

Location of the Big Four Bridge in relation to downtown and Indiana

View from the curved ramp leading up to the bridge

View from the curved ramp leading up to the bridge

It was a gorgeous morning, and the crowds were thick. One of the things I love most about Louisvillians is that we take full advantage of our parks systems and outdoor spaces.

The ramp leading up to the bridge

The ramp and Waterfront Park

Downtown Louisville

Downtown Louisville

Surprise proposal at the landing of the ramp. She said yes.

Surprise proposal at the landing of the ramp. She said yes.

Big Four Bridge 2a

 

Big Four Bridge 2

I'm a sucker for ironworks architecture.

I’m a sucker for ironworks architecture.

Big Four Bridge Downtown from Jeff

The Hoosier side is still under construction and should be completed by this summer, but for now, you can meander across the river and back.

Construction of the ramp (and in the distance, a new park) on the Indiana side.

Construction of the ramp (and in the distance, a new park) on the Indiana side.

A barge passing beneath the Big Four Bridge

A barge passing beneath the Big Four Bridge

I can’t wait for the Indiana side to be completed this summer. It will give runners a safe alternative to the heavily trafficked Second Street Bridge (which is partially held together by welded street signs – no joke).

Until then, keep running, friends.

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4 responses to “Photo Essay: Louisville’s Big Four Bridge

  1. From talking to your running buddy, Lindsay, I know how frustrated you are about your knee issues. Hang in there, buddy. It will get better and you’ll be back at it in no time! Love the pictures of the bridge! What a great asset for downtown!

    • Good to hear from you again, MB! These things happen. It’s just a reminder to stay on top of cross-training, which I haven’t been doing all that well lately. Glad you’re feeling better!

  2. I ran on the Big Four Bridge three times while in Louisville back in July – the cloverleaf ramp leading up to it is a tough incline – at least I thought it was.

    • It’s a challenge for sure. I can’t wait for Indiana to open their side (which has been delayed now for the fourth time). Maybe the next time you’re in Louisville, you’ll be able to run all the way across!

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