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Long-Term Street Closures Slated For Downtown Louisville

Public Domain

A section of downtown Louisville will be closed to traffic for nearly two years beginning later this week.

Fourth Street between Market and Jefferson streets will be closed for the duration of renovation work at the Kentucky International Convention Center.

The Third Street corridor will remain open through at least the end of the year, according to a news release sent late Tuesday from the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.

Hunt Construction, the general contractor, is revising plans to help mitigate downtown traffic congestion around the convention center, per the release. Louisville Metro Police Department will monitor traffic flow to determine when to increase traffic detail in the area, according to the release.

Lanes nearest to the center along Market Street and Jefferson Street will also be closed during the 22-month, $200 million renovation project.

A TARC bus stop near Fourth Street and Market Street will also be shuttered during the renovation, said Kay Stewart, a spokeswoman for the transit authority.

TARC passengers will be directed to stops at Second and Market streets or Fifth and Market streets, both of which serve the same routes as the stop being closed for the renovation, Stewart said. TARC staffers will be at the bus stop this week to assist passengers, she said.

The street closures are expected to increase congestion along First, Second and Sixth streets during the renovation work.

The convention center will be closed during the renovation.

The redeveloped convention center is expected to have an annual economic impact of about $50 million, said former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear in a news conference last year.

Peter Ruggiero, a designer of the revitalization effort, said a goal of the redesign is to open the convention center to the surrounding parts of the city and incorporate walkability around the perimeter of the complex. He said the current design is opaque and uninviting to the public.

“We wanted to look at how we could turn the building into a much more transparent building,” he said.

Rebecca Matheny, executive director of the Louisville Downtown Partnership, said she’s confident the redesigned convention center will benefit the city.

“One of the most exciting things is really the expansion of the overall market,” she said.

Matheny expects the expanded convention center will bring a “different level” of events to Louisville.

“That’s a different level of downtown economic impact, a different level of spending and just more people who come to Louisville,” she said.

This story has been updated.  

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.