UPDATED: October 2021
Q. Where is the Ohio River Greenway located?
A. Please take a look at the project map showing the Greenway Corridor. The Ohio River Greenway is a 7.5 mile area along the banks of the Ohio River in Southern Indiana. The eastern end of Riverside Drive in Jeffersonville is also the eastern end of the Greenway Corridor (milepoint 0.0 on the project map). The Greenway continues through Clarksville to its western end at West 10th Street in New Albany. The project proceeds along the riverfront with the levee/floodwall as the northern boundary. Bicycle/pedestrian connection is provided to the Kentucky side of the river utilizing the Big 4 Bridge in Jeffersonville.
Q. Why has this project taken so long to build?
A. The three communities partnered with the Federal government through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to obtain authorization for the “Ohio River Greenway Public Access Project” (the Greenway Project). Authorization as a Federal project required several years of planning studies to determine the feasibility of the project, evaluate environmental and economic impacts, investigate for cultural resources (including archeological artifacts), and determine protected wetland areas. These studies were required before detailed engineering and construction plans could be pursued and property acquired. Much of the project area through Clarksville is very archaeologically sensitive, which also added to design and construction delays. The Greenway Project has been funded largely through Federal grants and Congressional allocations, which are limited in size and availability. Funding has not been consistent or certain, so the Project has been built in multiple segments (11 through 2021) which takes a lot longer than building a single project.
Q. How is the Greenway Project funded?
A. The project has been funded largely through Federal grants and Congressional allocations, with matching funds provided by the three communities. Depending on the source of Federal funding, the local contribution may be 20 to 50%. The local matching funds have come from a variety of sources including private donors, but there has never been a specific local bond issued for the Greenway and therefore no local debt incurred.
Q. How much of the Greenway Project is complete?
A. Please see the project map which demarks the completed segments. Through the end of 2020 the Greenway Project is almost 90% complete. There are three small segments of multi-use path to be completed, totaling around 1-mile. While the completion of the Greenway continues, each of the communities has constructed or is planning other connective trails or parks which continue to enhance the riverfront and add to the area trails network.
Q. What is being built next?
A. The remaining 1-mile of multi-use path is split among the communities, with around 1/2 mile in New Albany and 1/4 mile in both Clarksville and Jeffersonville. Detailed design in New Albany is proceeding in 2021 on its segment between the Sherman Minton Bridge (I-64) and W. 10th Street, with construction start scheduled in 2022. Clarksville’s remaining segment, between Ashland Park and the Clark Memorial Bridge is being designed with the Indiana Department of Transportation as part of a broader reconstruction of Riverside Drive. https://www.townofclarksville.com/project/indot-project-riverside-drive/ The design of this segment is essentially complete and property right-of-way activities are proceeding through 2021, with construction start scheduled in 2022. The last 1/4-mile segment in Jeffersonville has been fully designed, and lies between the Lincoln (I-65) and Clark Memorial bridges.
Q. What is being done to promote safety on the Greenway?
A. The Greenway has been constructed close to the Ohio River and while some parts of it are close to city services, other areas are not. Special consideration for public safety has been included in both the design and ongoing use plans. Some parts of the multi-use path are already under camera surveillance, and additional surveillance is planned. The police departments have acquired off-road utility vehicles and bicycles for patrolling the path. A wayfinding signage system is completed which helps users determine distances between trailheads and public amenities, and provides emergency contact information. The Greenway is lighted for dusk/night use in the following sections (see project map):
- Jeffersonville – Milepoint 0 to 1.0
- Clarksville – Milepoint 1.25 to 1.75
- New Albany – Milepoint 6.25 to 6.75 and the 18th Street Trailhead
Greenway users must plan accordingly for dusk/night use.
Q. Is the Greenway open 24 hours a day?
A. Sections of the Greenway in each municipality are lighted (see question above) which will allow for 24-hour use . However, other segments of the Greenway may have regulated hours of operation that are yet to be determined. Weather, frequency of use and public safety will all be factors in determining what areas will be open or closed and the hours of use.
Q. Where are the public restrooms along the Greenway?
A. Currently, permanent public restrooms are limited to Clarksville’s Ashland Park (Milepoint 1.25) and New Albany’s Amphitheatre (Milepoint 6.5), but these facilities may not be open in winter or during evening hours. Facilities are also available inside the interpretive center at the Falls of the Ohio State Park (Milepoint 2.0). Portable restrooms are utilized for special events in each community. There are several restaurants and public businesses in Jeffersonville within and adjacent to the Greenway Corridor, and also in downtown New Albany approximately one block away from the multi-use path, accessible at East 6th Street or the Amphitheatre.
Q. Who will maintain the completed Greenway?
A. Each municipality is responsible for maintaining its constructed segments of the Greenway. Maintenance is provided by a combination of parks departments, flood control districts, public works departments, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Q. How can I support the Ohio River Greenway Project?
A. The Friends of the Ohio River Greenway ( http://www.friendsofthegreenway.org/ ) is set-up for handling monetary donations to support the Greenway, and their 501C3 status makes donations tax deductible. The Friends also work on promotion and advocacy for the Greenway and sponsor special events which can use volunteer help. The easiest way to support the Greenway is to USE it, and TELL your city/town, county, state and Federal representatives that you support the efforts to complete, enhance and maintain this worthy project.