Connecting Communities

New pedestrian-cycling bridge
going up over I-71 in Buckner

Structure is part of Oldham County
Greenways Project

BUCKNER, Ky. (May 2014) – Oldham County Greenways has had a vision for the county for a long time. Its goal of improving resident’s health while giving them recreational options to do so is coming one step closer to fruition.
In March 2014, construction began on a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 71 in Buckner. The bridge will connect two segments of Old La Grange Road that dead end on either side of the interstate. The segments “run parallel to KY 146 near Exit 17 on I-71, on the other side of the railroad tracks,” said Belinda, Planner I for Oldham County Planning & Zoning Development.
“This has been a process between Greenways and Oldham County Fiscal Court,” said Leanne Kommer, board president for Greenways, a non-profit organization. The project “is a joint partnership with us and the county.”

Pedestrian Bridge

In 2008, the two entities began updating the Greenways Master Plan. The plan was created by Greenways, Fiscal Court, the Board of Education and several other groups.
Eventually, the pathway will extend from Old La Grange Road to Pewee Valley, she said. “We hope to connect to the Louisville Loop as well.”
That same year, the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA) Transportation Policy Committee approved a $284,000 grant request submitted by the Oldham County Planning and Zoning Department for the Commerce Parkway segment of the Greenways project. This grant was to cover transportation enhancement funding for a 3.2-mile, shared-use Oldham County Bike and Pedestrian Trail along Commerce Parkway.
The following year, Phase 1 of the 1.5-mile trails in Wendell Moore Park was completed along with Phase 1 (1.2 miles) of three miles of multi-use Commerce Parkway Trails. In 2009, several sidewalk projects were completed and Phase 1 of the Commerce Parkway trail was finished and opened.
Phase two of the three-mile Commerce Parkway trail was completed in 2010. This same year, Greenways received grant approval for the pedestrian bridge over I-71 to be built.
The bridge will provide a safe pathway for cyclists and pedestrians to travel between Buckner and Crestwood. The project is expected to cost $1.17 million and be finished by July.
The bridge project has been funded with Surface Transportation Funds, said Dimas. Toll credits have been used for a match. It is an 80 percent federal, 20 percent local grant. The state took over the project after the Design Phase was completed, said Dimas.
Greenways goal is to provide “a place to walk, run or ride through the whole county,” said Kommer, who is the Health Education Coordinator for the Oldham County Health Department. So far, the non-profit has completed more than three miles of trails near Commerce Parkway, and created trails through Wendell Moore Park in Buckner.
The group received the federal grant a few years ago for the pedestrian bridge, said Kommer. The areas that will be connected are frequently used for walking and hiking. “There’s not a lot of traffic on it,” and users will not have to cross railroad tracks or I-71.
Greenways is also in the process of getting trail markers placed along Commerce Parkway, said Kommer. The group wants to include sidewalks and trails near school campuses to make the areas safer and more accessible.
The next step is to “do a preliminary Design Phase for an additional section,” said Dimas. This phase will incorporate identifying the trail length along Oldham La Grange Road, securing right-of-way, signage, pavement markings and facilitating a public meeting.
Kommer said that “trails promote healthy living and give adults and children a safe place to go to be active. I am committed to this safe, free, and fun way to stay active.”

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