Friday, April 10, 2009

Shippingport Island to open spring 2009...?

McAlpine Locks Work Nearly Done (BrokenSidewalk): As part of the project, the original sandstone lock dating from 1931 was removed to make way for the larger, modern lock. The Corps of Engineers has saved many of the stone blocks that made up the lock walls and resurrected them as a monument in the future visitor’s center park along with several artifacts related to river commerce. The McAlpine Locks are one of the only such systems to be located in an urban area and the project architects and engineers paid special attention to pedestrian and aesthetic concerns. A new bridge providing access to Shippingport Island features “aesthetic screening”, giving the appearance of a suspension bridge and a new pedestrian overlook will allow future visitors to peer over the lock walls as barges pass through. The new lock is functional but still in testing phases as the finishing touches are applied to the overall complex.

While the entire area around the McAlpine Locks is subject to strict security clearance, when the project is done early next year, visitors will be able to walk, bike, or drive across the new bridge to Shippingport Island for fishing or boat launching. The views up- and down-river from the bridge are quite beautiful, and the entire visitor’s center will be tied into the RiverWalk bike and walking trails.

New McAlpine Locks chamber completed (C-J)

The visitor center is supposed to open in May, and presumably the bridge to Shippingport Island will be open then.

The bridge and facilities are right alongside the Riverwalk path, and it's always been really tempting to think about going over there. It'll be really cool when it is open to the public...

My looeyville points us to the guided tours of the Louisville Mega Cavern under the Zoo, apparently the largest civil defense shelter of the Cuban Missile Crisis period.

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