LETTER: Speak up now about bridge and KY 44 projects

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By The Staff

Fellow citizens, this is your last chance to influence the Hwy 55 Salt River Bridge Project and Hwy 44 Realignment Project.  I am sending two letters to the state highway department that outline what many in the community would like to see included with these projects.  You may or may not agree with everything but either way, you should let them know what you think.  If we do not ask for these additions they will not include them.

 The City of Taylorsville is focusing on and investing in major streetscape and landscape projects to improve the image of our community.  We have started on our second phase of Main Street improvements in addition to sidewalk replacement and landscaping projects throughout the community.  We ask that the state incorporate design features that would fit into the Master Plan being developed by the City of Taylorsville.

 These are my suggestions:


KY 55 Salt River Bridge Replacement

The Blue Bridge has been in service for over 75 years.  The new bridge will be expected to serve our community for another 75 years or more.  If we miss this opportunity to do it right our community will have to deal with the consequences until another bridge is built around the year 2090.

 Several community leaders and citizens are proposing a river walk and park where the new bridge will be located.  We hope to develop this in coordination with the major floodwall renovation project currently being designed.  The bridge project also needs to be coordinated with this effort. 

 I am asking for the following features when finalizing the new bridge design and approach design:

• Stamped & stained concrete on all upper rails and lower supports similar to Main Street design

• Decorative streetlights on new bridge and along approaches

• Landscape designs that includes trees and green space

• Decorative black aluminum design features

• Sidewalks to tie into proposed river walk, park and Blue Bridge

• Parking for access to proposed river walk and park

•Develop the river bank to be used for public access and part of proposed river walk and park

• Allow the County and/or City to take ownership of existing Blue Bridge for pedestrian use         Allow a representative from the city to work with design team to help coordinate efforts

 KY 44 Realignment Project

The ¾ mile stretch being realigned connects Downtown Taylorsville to several residential developments and also the elementary and middle schools.  Our Comprehensive Plan allows for much more residential development going west along Hwy 44 in the future.  As this area fills in and matures over the next couple of decades it will become a part of our downtown.  We need pedestrian, handicap and bicycle access through this short stretch to connect these areas.

 We understand the need to create a safe road and believe making this ¾ mile stretch feel like part of our downtown and not an expressway would slow traffic down and help better connect the two population areas.

 I am asking for the following features when finalizing the realignment design:

• Broad Sidewalks for pedestrians, kids on wheels and handicapped on scooters

• Decorative streetlights and guard railing 

• Landscape design that includes trees and green space 

• Allow a representative from the city to work with design team to help coordinate efforts

 It will take many voices to convince our state highway officials that this is what our community wants - otherwise they are just going to build a concrete slab across the river surrounded by gravel and no pedestrian access from the schools to town.  Please send them a note and help make this happen.  Contact info is in this edition of the Spencer Magnet.  The deadline is June 10, 2009 - you only have a couple of days!


John Shircliffe