Dr. Susan M. Donovan, Bellarmine's president, speaks at the dedication of the bridge and path alongside (left to right) MSD Executive Director Tony Parrott, Metro Councilman Pat Mulvihill and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.
Bellarmine University joined several partners today to officially dedicate a new walking path and bridge that connects the university's campus with neighborhoods along Poplar Level Road.
“I’ve been working on this project for seven years, and am thrilled it’s finally complete,” said Metro Councilman Pat Mulvihill (D-10). “This provides a safe passage for neighborhoods on both sides of Beargrass Creek.”
The project was funded by Louisville Metro Government.
The route crosses Beargrass Creek where Bellarmine's campus, UofL Health's Peace Hospital and an MSD treatment plant meet. It provides a new safe travel option for walkers, joggers, bicyclists and others between the Highlands, Audubon Park and Germantown.
Sean Ward, Bellarmine's director of client services in information technology, has started using the new route for his daily commute to work and said he has already noticed plenty of users on the new path. It has turned what would have been a walk of
up to one hour into just over 15 minutes for him.
"For me, it provides an additional connection to the Highlands and Bardstown Road, as prior to it being put in, walking to campus required going through Joe Creason Park or to Eastern Parkway," said Ward. "Bellarmine is actually close to
plenty of things on Bardstown Road, so it has made the whole area more walkable."
The pathway begins behind Bellarmine's Nolen C. Allen Hall, with a bridge offering access to Nightingale Road on the opposite side of Beargrass Creek. Bicyclists and pedestrians are welcome to cross Bellarmine’s campus to use the new path during
daylight hours, but should be aware that the university conducts video surveillance on its property. The Bellarmine parking lots near the path are for faculty, staff and student use only, and parking permits are required.
"Since I arrived at Bellarmine five years ago, we have been very intentional about deepening and strengthening our connections to our community," said Dr. Susan M. Donovan, Bellarmine's president. "The completion of this project represents a very literal
outcome of that goal – better connectivity. This new infrastructure will open up new routes for bicycle commuting and new opportunities for fitness and recreation, both for our neighbors and for our own Bellarmine community."
Donovan noted that amenities along Poplar Level Road are now much more accessible for Bellarmine students via the new bridge.
The path was constructed by Flynn Brothers Contracting, under project management from Bellarmine. Project partners included Bellarmine, Louisville Metro Government, UofL Health, Metro Parks and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.