In 1880 both kentucky and Indiana passed acts authorizing a bridge between louisville and new albany,
to be called the Kentucky & Indiana bridge co. the man designated as president was Bennet
H. young, formerly a confederate colonel during thr civil war. the legislature acts specified
the bridge had to have pedestrain and horse wagon ways on it, in addition to the one railroad
track . this would be the first time a wagon could cross the river other than by ferry.
the bridge took from 1881 to 1885 to build. a wagon way was strung on both sides of the bridge
with seven turnouts (or pockets) on each wagon way. these turnouts allowed slower wagons to
pullover in a pocket to let faster horces and buggies to pass.
The K&I bridge company ran a steam passinger service across the bridge known as
the Daisy line. It ran from first street in louisville along the portland canal and
across the bridge terminating in new albany. A small traction line extended it to
Silver hills. the passinger cars were painted yellow with brown trimming, resembling
a black-eyed susan, hence the name Daisy line. In 1893 this passinger line was electrified
(one of the first in the united states) and sold to the louisville and Northern lighting
co. in 1906. In 1906 there were 1,250,000 passingers across the bridge. about 1908 the
the louisville railroad obtained the passinger service and incorporated it into their
streetcar system. the rout was changed from one along the portland canal to one originating
at third and jefferson in louisville,using the portland and shelby rout to 31 street and
portland, turning north on 31 street and up on to the bridge at 31 and montgomery street.
In 1910 there were 96 street car crossings per day and 1,868,000 passingers for the year.
on the bridge the streetcar track was set astradle the railroad track having a wider gauge.
Streetcars ended in 1948 and the modern day busses took over.
These three railroads changed the name to Kentucky & Indiana Bridge and Railroad Co. in
1900. and in 1910 to the Kentucky & Indiana Terminal Railroad Co. they had brough in a
dynamic chief engineer general managger mamed WM Mitchell in 1901 and he started pushing
for a new bridge. the first bridge was already obsolete in 1910. after only 25 years it
would not allow heaver engines and longer trains to use it. their was a weight restriction
as to the number of cars and engines that could cross safely. trians had to be taken across
in pieces. the single track was taking 75 freight trains per day. besides the 96 streetcars
crossings a day. the three railroads agreed to build another bridge ans Mr Mitchell proceeded
to build a double track bridge thab would last. it was built beside the first one and was
hailed as the second heaviest bridge in the world. having the first bridges east side
wagonway as a working plateform, the bridge was built in twi years (1910-1912), cost
there wasn`t a bridge over the ohio river in louisville until 1870, when the louisville bridge
co.(chartered in 1856) built one between louisville and jeffersonville.it was built for railroad
use,and the L & N along with the pennsylvania railroad had vested interests in it. later the
pennsylvania soley owned it. the B&O (O&M) AND Monon (LNAC) ; used this bridge and had
small yards on the kentucky side. the monon had their main yard and shops in new albany. the
pennsylvania railroad had extended a branch line from jeffersonville to new albany but new albany
wanted a bridge from new albany to louisville, quoting exorbitant charges to go via the pennsylvania,
new albany to jeffersonville and across their bridge to louisville. new albany also wanted to
get away from using ferries to cross the river. a business man in new albany, J.F. Gephart,
spearheaded attempts to get around the pennsylvania railroad and the ferry lines opposition
to a new albany to louisville bridge. Mr Gephart found an ally in another new albany/Cincinnati
businessman,Mr W.S. Culberston . Mr culbertson`s first two wives had died and his third wife was
a sister to Bennett H . Young, a financier in the louisville banking fraternity. they secured
promises from the B&O and monon,as well as the southern RR to use a new albany to louisville bridge,
if and when they built it.
Upon the completion in 1885, the B&O ,Monon, and Southern railroads agreed to tie into
the bridge. this meant the B&O and Monon leaving the pennsylvania railroad bridge. the B&O
stipulated the K&I bridge company was to replace the kentucky side wooden trestles with iron,
anf when this was done it plunged the bridge company into receivership in 1893. the resulting
suit by Youngstown bridge co.,who did the trestle work, went through numerouse courts and
finally a U.S. Circuit Court of appeals ruled the bridge approaches and land had to be sold
to satisfy the liens. this is when the three railroads B & O, Monon, and Southern bid on the
bridge in 1900 for $700,000.00. the bridge has cost over $1,000,000,00 TO BUILD . WITH w.s.
Culbertson and W.T. Grant being the two big investors.