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Gov. Beshear budget proposal to include $10 million for Waterfront Park expansion into West End

Gov. Andy Beshear annouced his support of Waterfront Park's phase four expanison into the West End on Tuesday.
Gov. Andy Beshear annouced his support of Waterfront Park's phase four expanison into the West End on Tuesday.

Governor Andy Beshear is proposing the state help fund the latest phase of Waterfront Park’s expansion.

Phase four focuses on expanding Waterfront Park into the West End of Louisville by 22 acres to include the area between 10th Street and 15th Street.

The project is estimated to cost $50 million.

At a press conference Tuesday, Beshear announced he’s including $10 million for the expansion in his upcoming budget proposal. 

The money would be split between two fiscal years.

“I believe it’s time that this experience is accessible to all members of the Louisville community. It’s about time that we had this experience in every part of this city,” Beshear said.

Democratic Council Member Jecorey Arthur represents District 4, which the expansion goes through. 

“My kids, residents of the Russell neighborhood, they love this park and after the expansion, they can walk to it,” Arthur said. “In fact, tens of thousands of West End residents will be able to walk in 15 minutes or less.”

Arthur talked about the importance of parks to the health and wellness of communities. 

“When you have that lack of greenspace, when you have that lack of park, that lack of acreage, lack of access to it, your life expectancy drops,” Arthur said. “You’re more likely to get diseases, you’re more likely to get asthma, you’re more likely to get cancer.”

Phase four of the Waterfront Park expansion is one of many ongoing projects investing in Louisville’s West End, a place both Arthur and Beshear acknowledged had gone underfunded for decades.

The Kentucky General Assembly will need to approve the money in the budget. 

The money is slated to come from the general fund which currently has a surplus of cash.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.