The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) recently awarded a contract for rehabilitation of the Bernheim Bridge in Cherokee Park in Louisville. This bridge, also known as Bridge No. 8, crosses the Middle Fork of Beargrass Creek.
This project includes waterproofing and repairing the concrete arch, resetting the railings, masonry repairs on the spandrel walls and railings and new asphalt pavement on the crossing.
KYTC is coordinating the bridge repairs with Louisville Parks and Recreation and Olmsted Parks Conservancy.
Construction is scheduled to begin this week. The bridge crossing via Beargrass Road from Park Boundary Road and Alta Vista Road will be inaccessible through the duration of the project. The Bernheim Bridge will reopen to traffic in late summer.
Several popular nearby park features, including Big Rock pavilion, parking and playground area, will be easily accessible during the construction period. A detour map can be viewed below.
Louisville Paving Company was awarded the $1.1 million construction contract. Marr Construction will be the subcontractor for the masonry rehabilitation of the historic bridge. Marr has worked on several other bridge restoration projects in Cherokee Park.
The Bernheim Bridge dates to 1928 and was named for Bernhard and Rosa Bernheim, who were members of the notable Bernheim family that includes Isaac Wolfe Bernheim, who founded the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest south of Louisville.
Another bridge in Cherokee Park on the Scenic Loop is scheduled for repairs later this year. These bridges are part of KYTC’s Bridging Kentucky program. Bridging Kentucky includes more than 1,000 state, county, and municipal structures that are rated in poor condition or have restricted weight limits. More than 70 of the bridges on the list are currently closed to traffic.
Each bridge will be addressed in the next six years, either replaced with a new structure designed to last at least 75 years or rehabilitated to extend its life by at least 30 years. Those with restricted weight limits will reopen to school buses, emergency vehicles, commercial trucks, as well as passenger vehicles.
The date and duration of this work may be adjusted if inclement weather or other unforeseen delays occur. Visit goky.ky.gov for the latest in traffic and travel information in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Traffic information for the District 5 counties is also available at facebook.com/KYTCDistrict5 and twitter.com/KYTCDistrict5.
Radon is a gas that you cannot smell, taste or see. It forms naturally when uranium, radium and thorium break down in rocks, soil and groundwater. People can be exposed to radon primarily from breathing radon in air that comes in through cracks and gaps in homes and other buildings. Radon can cause lung cancer through prolonged exposure. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, behind smoking, and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, causing between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year.
The entire state of Kentucky is at high risk for radon exposure with about 40 percent of homes estimated to have unsafe levels. The only way to know if radon exists at dangerous levels in your home is to test for it.
“People can’t see or smell radon so they may not know that it can exist at dangerous levels in their homes and be exposing them to deadly health effects,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and the city’s chief health strategist. “We encourage people to take advantage of the free test kits to test their homes for radon.”
The lung cancer risk factors of tobacco smoke and radon are related. More radon-related lung cancers occur in individuals with a history of exposure to tobacco smoke. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Lung cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, with the highest mortality rate of any cancer. Kentucky has the highest incidence rate of lung cancer in the nation with a rate of 93.4 per 100,000 compared to the national average of 59.4. According to the recently released 2017 Health Equity Report, cancer is the leading cause of death in Louisville.
The death rate from lung cancer in Kentucky is 69.5 per 100,000 compared to the national average of 43.4. In Louisville our lung cancer incidence and mortality rates are also well above the national average. According to the Kentucky Cancer Registry the incidence rate of lung cancer in Louisville is 94.8 per 100,000 compared to 59.4 nationally. The death rate is 61.7 compared to 43.4 nationally.
Here are a few tips to help prevent radon in your home:
Mitigation costs generally range from $1,200 to $2,500 depending on the size and foundation of the home. Consult the Kentucky Association of Radon Professionals or the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists National Radon Proficiency Program to locate approved contractors near you.
Metro Public Works will provide curbside pickup of Christmas Trees within the Urban Services District (the old City of Louisville boundaries) after the holiday. Beginning Wednesday, December 26, residents with City curbside yard waste pickup may set their Christmas trees and greenery out on their regular collection day. Trees must not be in plastic bags, and all decorations must be removed.
Drop-off sites will also be available for all Louisville/Jefferson County residents at three locations. Two of the three drop-off sites will also instantly recycle trees in to mulch that will be offered back to citizens for home use.
Those wishing to receive mulch must bring an appropriate container in which to carry it. Trees picked up from curbside will also be recycled but not offered as mulch. All lights and ornaments should be removed from trees before they are set out or dropped off.
Residents normally serviced by private waste haulers should check with those companies to see whether and when tree pickup is available.
Christmas tree vendors may recycle their unsold trees on Wednesday, December 26 only, and only at the Hubbard’s Lane site.
DROP OFF LOCATIONS
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that Louisville is joining cities across the globe by setting a goal of an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
In May 2016, Mayor Fischer signed the Global Covenant of Mayors, an agreement signed by leaders of more than 9,000 cities across the world committing to inventory and develop a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Globally, cities play a major role in these efforts, as 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from cities.
Greenhouse gases get trapped in the atmosphere, which causes warming and leads to climate change. These gases are emitted when we drive, turn on the lights in our homes and buildings, and when waste breaks down in the landfill, among other sources.
The city’s Global Covenant commitment is a three-step process: conducting the inventory, setting a reduction target and creating a strategy to meet that target.
Louisville inventoried its greenhouse gas emissions in 2017, releasing a draft report indicating emissions had been reduced by 16.9 percent between 2010 and 2016. Further review, including additional information regarding Louisville’s energy use, clarified that the actual community-wide decrease in emissions was 10.1 percent.
“Clearly, there is work to be done,” Mayor Fischer said. “But this is about protecting the future of our planet. Many of our city’s largest businesses already have adopted corporate practices and goals that will help us move the needle, and we urge individuals to do their part as well. It will take all of us to achieve this very ambitious goal.”
Cities across the country, such as Cincinnati, Atlanta, Cleveland, Denver and Philadelphia, are also setting a reduction goal of 80 percent, which aligns with the scientific consensus of what is required to avoid the most damaging effects of climate change.
For Louisville, the next step is to develop a strategy on how we as a community will achieve the goal in a way that supports our goals for creating a more resilient, equitable and environmentally just city.
The city has created a survey to gauge public interest and support for potential options, such as planting more trees, conserving energy or using automobiles less.
Copies of the survey will be shared at upcoming community meetings, and an online survey is available at the city’s website, www.louisvilleky.gov, and at Louisville Free Public Library branches.
The next phase of the city’s Global Covenant of Mayors commitment is to begin climate adaptation planning, which will be conducted in alignment with the city’s Louisville Resilience program.
Staff from the Louisville Metro Office of Sustainability will meet with community groups in coming months to gather feedback and further elaborate on next steps. The first of those meetings will be with the Rubbertown Community Advisory Council on Jan. 10 and the 100 Resilient Cities Work Group on Jan. 28. If you would like for staff to attend your neighborhood association, board or city council meeting, please call 574-6285 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Louisville’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, please visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/sustainability/greenhouse-gas-inventory
Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that the Office of Sustainability has implemented its first Energy Project Assessment District (EPAD) project with partner Citizens Union Bank (CUB).
EPAD is a tool that encourages property owners install energy efficiency mprovements, renewable energy and water conservation measures at commercial and multi-family properties, by allowing them to acquire private funding that can be paid off through a voluntary assessment administered by the Jefferson County Sheriff in the same manner as a property tax bill. The program allows property owners to extend the term of the loan to 30 years and finance up to 100 percent of an energy project’s cost.
The city’s first EPAD project was made possible through a loan from CUB and allowed property owner Tony Holland to construct a 15-unit apartment at 110 Weisser Avenue with high-efficiency heating and cooling controls, an exterior insulation system and cool roofing materials.
“I applaud the Office of Sustainability, CUB and Tony Holland for forming a partnership to make our city more sustainable. This project is a showcase of how property owners and developers can make a great financial choice that will have great environmental benefits for our community,” Mayor Fischer said. “Our city needs more lending institutions and property owners to partner with us on projects like this one.”
“We are thrilled to close on the first project of our EPAD program. EPAD will help promote energy efficiency and will ultimately contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the quality of life in Louisville,” said Louisville Metro Office of Sustainability Director Maria Koetter. “We applaud Tony Holland and CUB for paving the way.”
“At CUB we care a great deal about conservation efforts that benefit the communities we serve”, said David Bowling, CUB’s CEO. “We are proud to be able to partner with the City and property owners like Tony Holland on the EPAD Program. They were great to work with and hopefully this will be just the beginning of many similar projects in the future.”
The EPAD program offers unique benefits to the property owner, including low interest, and fixed rates that are affixed to the property title and not the property owner. That separation means the property owner is not tying up other credit lines for essential operating expenses.
Energy efficient improvements and renewable energy projects—like solar panels, green roofs and LED lighting—aid in Louisville Metro’s efforts alleviate urban heat and decrease the amount of pollutants impacting local air quality.
EPAD financing is available to office, retail, industrial, non-profits and multi-family residential units consisting of five or more dwelling units. Commercial properties include for-profit businesses and non-governmental, non-residential, tax-exempt properties such as privately operated community centers and hospitals.
An eligible energy-efficient, water-efficient or renewable energy improvement project must have a minimum cost of $20,000, a useful life of at least five years and be permanently affixed to the property title. Additionally, the property owner must demonstrate that the project reduces energy or water usage or generate renewable power for the property and that the improvements will remain with property upon sale or transfer of title.
The Kentucky General Assembly enacted legislation in 2015 authorizing local governments to establish EPADs and an ordinance approved by Metro Council in 2016 designated the entirety of Louisville Metro as an EPAD.
The city of Louisville is privileged to host the USA Cyclocross National Championships at Joe Creason Park December 11-15. This international event, coming on the heels of last year’s Derby City Cup, will feature nearly 1,700 top professional and amateur riders competing over the course of the week from 45 states.
The competition will also draw thousands of spectators from the city of Louisville and beyond, and the event area will feature an expo area, food trucks, hospitality tents and other temporary amenities.
Louisville Parks and Recreation and the host organization, the Louisville Sports Commission, are aware of the stress such an event can put on the natural balance of a scenic park such as Creason.
We are taking the following steps to ensure a return to its idyllic state following the competition:
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Kentucky Venues’ guests who are blind or visually impaired will soon have access to an innovative technology that will improve their ability to navigate around large spaces and events.
Kentucky Venues, which operates the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) and the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) recently partnered with the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) on their Nearby Explorer mobile app.
The app, developed by APH, gives people who are blind or visually impaired audio cues about the world around them and communicates information with beacons that will be installed at strategic points throughout both KICC and KEC.
The app offers an unmatched level of independence when moving through unfamiliar buildings, especially large ones like KICC or KEC. It provides the equivalent of electronic signage, so the user knows what rooms, stairs, etc. are in the vicinity.
“As a user of the app who is blind, I appreciate knowing the general layout of the venue,” said Larry Skutchan, Director of Technology Product Research at APH.
“This way, I can walk in the correct direction, find rooms, find stairs, etc. Even if walking with another person, it is super helpful to get information about what is around.”
Installation of the beacons is anticipated to be complete at both properties by January 31, 2019.
“Accessibility and innovation have always been important to our organization,” said David S. Beck, President and CEO of Kentucky Venues.
“We are proud to partner with APH and want to assist all guests so they feel comfortable as they navigate through our facilities.”
The Nearby Explorer app is available for both Apple and Android phones.