Gov. Beshear to Propose $10 Million in Next Budget for Waterfront Park Expansion in West Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 30, 2021) – Gov. Andy Beshear today said his upcoming budget proposal will include $10 million to support the Waterfront Park Phase IV expansion between 10th and 14th Streets in Louisville.

“For so many people in this city, Waterfront Park is not just a place, it’s an experience. It’s the backdrop for some of their happiest moments with family and friends,” said Gov. Beshear. “It’s time that this experience is accessible to all members of the Louisville community. Let’s make sure these dollars stay in the budget and that we get this expansion done.”

The total cost of the expansion is $50 million, making it the largest public amenity investment in West Louisville in decades. Waterfront Park requested funds from the next state budget to help increase access to the Ohio River and open space.

“It is important that we give even more Louisville families access to this tremendous public resource and outdoor space,” said Sen. Gerald Neal, who represents part of Jefferson County, and whose district includes the Waterfront Park Phase IV expansion. “The Waterfront Park expansion is long-overdue, but we have an opportunity to help get it done this legislative session by including funding to support the project in our next budget.”

“I love the beautiful spaces of nature in Shawnee and Chickasaw parks! Increasing access to the Ohio River and increasing green spaces for families to enjoy will give West Louisville another community jewel,” said Rep. Pamela Stevenson, who represents part of Jefferson County, and whose district includes the Waterfront Park Phase IV expansion. “Even more important is how well we worked together to honor the promise made to our residents and to improve our quality of place. The Waterfront is a ‘must see, must do and must have’ amenity that enhances the natural beauty of West Louisville. This is a win for everyone.”

The site will be located in the Portland neighborhood within West Louisville, under Interstate 64 between the Louisville RiverWalk and Rowan Street. The expansion will include plazas, gardens and a large observation pier at the river’s edge that can accommodate events, performances and other gatherings.

“After decades of shared investment, Waterfront Park is a beautiful and thriving treasure that welcomes millions of visitors and residents from throughout our community every year. Today’s announcement addresses an unfinished goal and moves us a critical step closer to a 22-acre westward expansion connecting downtown and west Louisville with one waterfront,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “We thank Gov. Beshear for including this expansion in his budget proposal and look forward to making Waterfront Park Phase IV a reality of our families, residents and visitors.”

“I am so very thankful to Gov. Beshear for this opportunity to make Louisville’s Waterfront Park an even better place for Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Louisville Metro Council President David James. “His leadership and commitment to our community is something that I see day in and day out; I think we are so blessed to have a Governor like Andy.”

“This westward expansion is what our West End families deserve,” said Louisville Metro Councilman Jecorey Arthur, whose district includes the Waterfront Park Phase IV expansion. “My kids are residents of the Russell Neighborhood who love this park, and after the expansion we can walk to it, along with tens of thousands of other West End families.”

The 22-acre park expansion will connect downtown and West Louisville along the waterfront. It will create a connected “One Waterfront” with the goal of fostering waterfront recreational access all the way from Riverview Park at the far southwestern part of the county, to Chickasaw Park, Shawnee Park, Portland’s McAlpine Locks, through downtown and the 4th Street Wharf, all the way to Beargrass Creek in the east.

“Phase IV will greatly expand access to Waterfront Park’s healthy outdoor recreational space and world-class amenities,” said Chris Jones, Board Chair of Waterfront Park. “We are grateful for the Governor’s support of this long-awaited project, along with Louisville Metro Government and the local foundations and private donors who stepped forward with early leadership gifts to help bring the vision to reality.”

The first planned component to be constructed is the PlayWorks at Waterfront Park. Waterfront Park partnered with the Kentucky Science Center to establish a 1.5-acre outdoor experiential learning area. The area consists of three zones, each including a distinctive play experience that pays homage to the Ohio River’s cultural and industrial heritage.

To learn more about the Waterfront Park Phase IV Expansion, visit

Last week, Gov. Beshear was in Louisville to announce Everybody Counts, a new program that will help every Jefferson County Public Schools graduate who doesn’t currently have a plan for after high school graduation to secure one of three pathways: a job at one of four companies, post-secondary enrollment or both. The program will begin this school year and will be in place to assist the class of 2022.

The four participating partner companies are Ford Motor CompanyGE AppliancesKroger and UPS. Nonprofit, higher education and labor partners supporting Everybody Counts include Evolve502, the Louisville Urban LeagueSimmons College of Kentucky and UAW Local 862. To read more about the initiative click here.