CLARKSVILLE, IN (December 12, 2022) – If you have visited the Clarksville, Indiana riverfront on nice day this year, you most likely witnessed several walkers, runners, and bicyclists enjoying the Ohio River Greenway. Since the Town of Clarksville completed the connection of the Greenway to the City of New Albany, the multi-use path has a become a destination for outdoor enthusiasts from across Louisville and Southern Indiana.
Although the connection between Clarksville and New Albany was a significant achievement, those who use the Ohio River Greenway know that there is still a big safety issue that needs to be addressed. If you head east from Clarksville’s Ashland Park, you will notice that there is no sidewalk or Greenway connection to the City of Jeffersonville. Bicyclists, walkers, and runners are currently forced to travel in the roadway to get from Clarksville to the Ohio River Greenway in Jeffersonville.
Now after years of planning, that missing element of the Ohio River Greenway will soon be put in place. The Town of Clarksville’s Redevelopment Commission has been working to completely redesign and redevelop the area between Ashland Park and Jeffersonville. The changes will include new sidewalks, bike paths, crosswalks, on-street parking, lighting, and other beautification efforts. RDC President A.D. Stonecipher says the Riverside Drive project is much-needed.
“Over the years, Riverside Drive has become more than a gateway to the Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center. It now serves as a crucial connection within Ohio River Greenway with hundreds of year-round bikers and hikers,” said RDC President and Town Council Member A.D. Stonecipher. “It also becomes a community front-porch for Southern Indiana during ‘Thunder Over Louisville’. In the near future, it will serve as a neighborhood park for our developing Main Street neighborhood.“
Stonecipher says the Redevelopment Commission plans to ‘dovetail’ this project with improvements to the flood gate and to Ashland Park, so as to create a downtown that will serve residents and visitors with greater safety, beauty, and convenience.
The project is expected to be put out for bid in March 2023, and construction is expected to begin in April. With construction costs on the rise, Stonecipher says he is pleased that the Riverside Drive project is receiving an 80% federal-grant match of more than $5.5 Million. The project is estimated at just shy of $7 Million, with 40% of the cost going to the acquisition of road-side footage at fair-market value. Those purchases included the current site of Carman Industries, which is located just east of Ashland Park.
“The most important part of Riverside Drive is keeping south of the flood wall free of private development and an open view to the river forever free for all to come and enjoy,” said RDC Member Mike Mustain.
Although residents should be very excited about this project, they must also be prepared for road closures and detours in the area around Riverside Drive.
“We understand that this project may create some headaches for those wishing to visit the Clarksville Riverfront in 2023,” said Clarksville Communications Director Ken Conklin. “However, those inconveniences will be well worth it when residents get to enjoy the finished product for years to come.” Additional information about the project including a timeline for construction, road closures, and other details will be released once a contractor is selected in early 2023.