The new bridge downtown will open around Christmas time. | By Caitlin Bowling

The new bridge downtown will open around Christmas time. | Photo by Caitlin Bowling

Back in October, leaders from Indiana and Kentucky announced plans to mark the completion of the new Interstate 65 Northbound bridge across the Ohio River by allowing people to walk the bridge before it opens to traffic.

A date now has been set for the “Walk The Bridge” event — Saturday, Dec. 5. The deck of the bridge will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day, and Ky. Gov. Steve Beshear will be there to cut the ribbon on the new bridge, according to a news release.

“Over the coming decades, hundreds of thousands of people and cars will cross the bridge, but we’re creating a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity before we open the bridge to traffic,” Beshear said in the release. “It’s an opportunity to be part of a historic celebration of an extraordinary project.”

Attendees are encouraged to take pictures and post them to social media with #walkthebridge, and the first 10,000 visitors will receive a keepsake medallion.

The entire walk is 1.5 miles from the ramp to the Louisville end of the bridge and back. No pets, bicycles, rollerblades or skateboards are permitted.

People can access the bridge by foot or shuttle from Jeffersonville and are asked to park at Water Tower Square, 300 Missouri Ave., or Colston Park, 301 Mulberry St, the release states.

The ramp from Interstate 65 North to Court Avenue in Jeffersonville will be closed during the event.

An open date for the new, and as-yet-unnamed, bridge is not set. Once its does open, northbound traffic will shift to the new bridge, followed later by southbound lanes.

Traffic southbound will shift back to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge after contractor Walsh Construction Co. completes $22 million in improvements that are expected to add decades to the bridge’s life.

The entire project is expected to be complete by December 2016.