Charlestown State Park is located in Charlestown Indiana approximately 11 miles upstream from Louisville, Kentucky. The park was once part of the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant (INAAP) and was donated in separate parcels to the State of Indiana beginning in 1993. In 2004, the INAAP donated 2,600 acres bringing the total area of the park to 5,100 acres thus making it the third largest state park in Indiana. A portion of the donated 2,600 acres was Ohio River frontage. In order to make use of the latest donation and to gain access to the Ohio River, improvements were needed.
HMB entered into contract with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to provide improvements to Charlestown State Park to gain access to the Ohio River. HMB’s services to the client included providing survey, design, permitting, bid documents, construction inspection, shop drawing review and approval, invoice review and approval, and as-built plans.
In order to get access to the river, 2.5 miles of existing roadway had to be improved through realignment or widening and overlay. Drainage improvements were included which involved ditch and culvert design or slip lining. A bridge replacement over the Jenny Lind Run provided two-lane access via a 78 foot span PCI beam bridge with sidewalks and wood railing on both sides. Two riverbank overlook platforms were designed and constructed to allow pedestrians to walk out over the riverbank and enjoy the view of the Ohio River. A 75 foot wide boat ramp was designed for access into the Ohio River.
Considering this project was done within a State Park, measures were taken during design to ensure that the project would fit into the environment and not disturb the property’s natural beauty. A minimal disturbance approach was used during design. Because of the lower design speed within the park, roadway improvements could be made while retaining the integrity of the park surroundings. During the design process, we identified areas that we knew would probably be disturbed by the contractor unless measures were taken. We used construction and/or silt fence to delineate areas that we wanted the contractor to stay out of. The fencing was one of the initial construction measures. Protecting these areas proved to be a smart idea, as it prevented mitigation through permitting agencies. HMB handled the permitting process which involved acquiring approval from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
The project was opened in May 2007 with a dedication and ribbon cutting in which Governor Mitch Daniels was in attendance and spoke. The project received the National 2008 Outstanding Project Award for Large Access Category from the States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA). The project also received a 2007 Award of Excellence from the Associated Builders and Contractors Organization, Kentuckiana Chapter.