Mayor Greg Fischer helped break ground today to begin construction of the long-planned realignment of the intersection of Eighteenth Street, Dixie Highway and Broadway.
The $1.1 million project will ease traffic conditions at an intersection that is the hub of a major revitalization of the area. The Republic Bank Foundation YMCA and the new corporate headquarters of Passport Health Plan—projects totaling nearly $160 million and bringing over 500 jobs to the area—are both under construction at the intersection.
Dixie Highway becomes Eighteenth Street as it moves northbound across Broadway. Navigating that intersection from any direction presently requires moving through two traffic signals less than one hundred feet apart because the street zigzags at Broadway.
This project will reroute Dixie slightly eastward along the YMCA to align it directly with 18th Street, eliminating the zigzag and one of the traffic signals in each direction. Completion by contractor TSI Construction is expected by the end of October.
Mayor Fischer said, “This realignment will improve the connections between north, south, east and west as it helps to make this critical intersection a foundation for even more investment in West Louisville.”
Joining the mayor in the groundbreaking were Steve Tarver, President and CEO of YMCA of Greater Louisville; Jill Bell, Vice President and Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of Passport Health Plan; Metro Council President and District 6 Councilman David James; and Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith of District 4, which includes the Broadway/Dixie/18th Street intersection.
The realigned intersection will be a Bus Rapid Transit stop at the northern anchor of the $50 million New Dixie Highway project. That project will improve safety, mobility and livability along a 14-mile corridor to the Gene Snyder Freeway. Mayor Fischer noted that the realignment is part of a long string of development announcements across Louisville, and particularly west of Ninth Street.
In addition to the YMCA and Passport projects, the list includes a $29.5 million grant to convert the Beecher Terrace public housing development into a mixed used, mixed income community, the planned $30 million Heritage West track and field facility at 30th Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, development of Google Fiber, the Chef Space kitchen incubator in the former Jay’s Cafeteria, and more.