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Fletcher’s $1 million surprise to launch Belknap entrance redesign

April 5th, 2007


Gov. Ernie Fletcher surprised (L to R) UofL trustee Ron Butt, President James Ramsey and trustee chair Chester Porter with a $1 million check for improvements to the Belknap Campus entrance.

Gov. Ernie Fletcher surprised UofL officials with a $1 million check to help with the redesign of the Oval, the historic Third Street entrance to the Belknap Campus.

Fletcher presented the ceremonial check shortly after announcing $5.3 million in state funding to build and improve infrastructure at UofL’s Shelby Campus. The newly designed road network will provide additional traffic connections to help reduce congestion at the Hurstbourne Parkway and Shelbyville Road intersection. The project also will include aligning the primary Shelby Campus entrance with Whittington Parkway, which will help improve traffic flow on Shelbyville Road, and building a new roadway through the campus.

“The investment we are making in this highway infrastructure project will accelerate the university’s development of a business and technology park on the Shelby Campus,” Fletcher said. “We are committed to helping the university build this campus into a thriving research and technology complex.”

“I am so pleased that the governor and our state legislators recognize the importance of laying this foundation for our new and improved Shelby Campus,” said UofL President James Ramsey. “The research and technology activity unfolding here will help the economy in a number of ways. For example, our biosafety lab will create jobs, employ more people in the high-tech science sector, bring in increased federal research funding, offer training students can bring to the workforce, and lead to spin-off businesses.”

The university will assume oversight, coordination and management responsibility for the design and construction phases of the project, which is expected to cost about $5.8 million. UofL is responsible for covering costs above the $5.3 million in state funding.

Ramsey praised Fletcher for helping secure the funds for the project.

“Gov. Fletcher understands the vital role the University of Louisville plays in shaping this community,” Ramsey said. “Every time we have asked for his help in these economic development issues, he has been there for us.”

The $1 million for the Oval is in response to one of several UofL requests for funding to improve Stansbury Park and the Third Street corridor. UofL will contribute $200,000 in matching funds to this phase of the renovation. The one-way entrance and exit will be moved further apart and extended to Third Street to create a safer entry area. The project will include landscaping, turf improvements and more structured tree plantings. Stamped concrete cobblestones or brickwork will replace portions of Third Street, which will improve the look of the entrance, serve as a traffic calming measure and improve safety for drivers making right turns into the Oval.

Construction on the Shelby Campus project could begin this fall. Design work on the Oval will begin soon.

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