FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jeanne Hilt
Louisville Downtown Partnership
NULU STREETSCAPE PROJECT MOVING FORWARD
(LOUISVILLE, KY) – The Louisville Downtown Partnership (LDP) has announced the $13.4 million East Market Streetscape project is moving forward and is proceeding to the engineering design phase, with a tentative construction start date of fall 2016. “We are pleased to move beyond the various complex approval processes, and excited to continue working with the NuLu Business Association (NBA) and the entire neighborhood on this transformative project,” said Rebecca Matheny, LDP’s Executive Director. Funding for the $13.4 million project includes $10 million from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, $1.9 million from the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), and $1.5 million related to commitments from the Ohio River Bridges Project.
The 11-member steering committee, which includes a broad range of neighborhood stakeholders, will continue to act as a conduit for neighborhood input on design and modifications to the current plan. In addition, a public meeting to present design approach to date will be scheduled this spring. “From the very onset, this truly has been a neighborhood driven project and will result in a unique green streetscape that Louisville has never seen before,” Matheny added. NuLu, which aspires to be the coolest, greenest art district in Louisville, also wants to become the first neighborhood in Louisville planned and designed per Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification guidelines. The certification program recognizes development projects that utilize best-in-class building strategies for smart growth, urbanism, and green building.
A critical factor in the streetscape project’s forward momentum was funding approval by Louisville MSD’s Board of Directors in November. The green infrastructure of the project will not only beautify East Market Street, but will decrease the volume of storm water draining into the combined sewer system. The project area will feature rain gardens and underground infiltration basins, which will prevent nearly three million gallons of rainwater from entering the combined sewer system during a typical rainfall year. This will help guard against sewer overflows into Beargrass Creek and the Ohio Rivers, as well as provide relief from surface flooding in the area. “This project is entirely consistent with our vision of achieving safe, clean waterways for a healthy and vibrant community,” said Tony Parrott, Louisville MSD’s Executive Director.
According to John Carman, the lead professional design consultant on the project, “The streetscape plan will cut eastbound traffic down to two lanes, add many trees along the sidewalk and in medians to help fortify the street corridor’s tree canopy, create inviting social gathering spaces along the sidewalk, add a segregated bicycle track, and provide opportunities for public art.” The project’s initial public art installation, ‘NuLu 16’, will be developed to enhance the streetscape design with the guidance of the Louisville Metro Commission on Public Art (COPA) and nationally recognized public art curator, Jennifer McGregor, who is an expert with substantive experience conceiving and managing contemporary art projects.
LDP will host a meeting with neighbors and business owners prior to construction to discuss strategic ways to mitigate potential impacts of the 18-month construction phase. “We realize the 18-month construction phase will require cooperation and patience on behalf of the neighborhood, and we will do our best to work with each and every business to help them get through it,” Matheny said. “We are confident the end result will be well worth the temporary disruption.”
LDP drives economic growth in Downtown and adjacent central-city neighborhoods for the benefit of the entire region, as well as oversees multiple on-street enhancements that help establish Downtown Louisville’s distinctive character and widespread appeal. LDP believes the economic engine of any great city starts with a strong Downtown.
For more information, go to: www.louisvilledowntown.org. LDP can be contacted at 556 S. Fourth Street; Louisville, KY 40202; (502)584-6000.
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