When the CSX railroad was formed in the early 1970`s the L & N took B & O trains
into their new modern Osborn yard in south louisville, and their need of the K & I
ended, other than trackage rights across the bridge. the southern louisville R.R.
purchased the L & N and B & O interests in the K & I, December 31, 1981. An evaluation
of the K & I was set at $30,000,000.00. and upon purchas the K&ITRR ceased to ceased
to exist, but their part in louisville history for 101 years can never be forgotton.
In 1968 the bridge was evaluated and deemed good for 50 moore years after
having been used for 56 years.two bridge long grain trains loaded with 100
ton grain cars powered by six locomotives on each train can cross this bridge
easily. strength of the bridge is coopers E-55. besides the train load as it
commonly referred to, the bridge is designed to carry its own weight,the tracks
and dead weight of the vehicular roadways. the coopers E-55 was updated to
coopers E-75 by this study. the bridge weights 36.5 million pounds, is 4554
feet long with approaches and was built by American bridge Company. in 1952
the wooden floor on the roadways were replaced by steel decking.
The K & I corporation offices were in an old mansion at 2910 North western
parkway. the mansion was built around 1863 by Enoch Lockhart, the Superintendent
of the portland canal. he sold the mansion in 1867 to J.F.Irwin for $20,000.00
cash. Captian irwin owned the portland and new albany ferry and his family owned
most of the property the K&I terminal was laid out on. he died in 1883, and it
is known the K&I rented the mansion at least from 1900 to 1910,whichtime they
Due to the scope of how many houses would need to be taken the
1910 expanson, the K&I took pictures of homes from 29th to 32nd street
on montgomery, portland, bank, and market street. the class negatives
and pictures of homes in 1900 have been used by the Portland Musemum
in a slide illustration of life in portland in 1900 as people appear
in many of these picturedressed in their attir. Many of these homes
weren`t taken in the expansion and the pictures of the homes, before
(1900) and now (1990) are very interesting.
I would like to say moore about Bennet H. Young, the first president
of the K & I. he was bornin 1843 and his home was on Ormsby Avenue in
louisville. he was an attorney, general counsel and president of the new
albany and ST. Louis RR and as you will hear in his 1912 speech opening
the new bridge, he was also president of the Monon and brought the southern
RR into louisville in 1887. he had a hand in the creation of the presbyterian
Seminary in louisville and was president of the southern Expostion 1883/1884.
that area is now Central park and ST. james court. only a block from
his louisville address.
Presiding at the november 27,1912 festivies was MR.Mitchell, president of
the K &I, and builder of the new bridge. others speaking were Kentucky Gov.
Ed.J. McDsrmontt, known as the little Giant orator, W.O. head ,Geo. Danforth,
president of the board of trade, J.W. Sanders of the commercial club, and
president Theodore Liesen of the endingeers & Architects club of louisville.
At this time i am going to read Bennett H.Youngs speech which gives
an insight into the earlier 1880-1900 history of the K & I.
General Young. "It looked a little like they were not going to get down
on me. I hope you will all consider me still in the ring"
"One of the greatest architects in the world,standing in one of the most
magnificent buildings in the ,witch he had designed,was asked `Where is your moment?
why he said, look around. this is my moment.` All we have to do to see MR. Mitchell`s
moment is to look and take in this marvelous structure.
I know something of bridge building. the old bridge the Time it was built
was the greatest cantilever system that had ever been constructed. then, when
louisville southern was built, it was necessaary to span the KY.river,and we
built at the time the longest cantilever span in existence. this magnnificent
enterprise here is but an echo to the cry of louisville for greater things,and
Greater prosperity, and it answered fully and completely in this structure, In
this enormouse bridge we have a presentation of what louisville is and will