Abraham Lincoln Bridge, Ohio River Downtown Crossing

Louisville, Kentucky

In collaboration with the design-build team that included IBT Systra, Donald MacDonald Architects provided architectural services for the Downtown Crossing between Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville, Indiana. The project included a new cable-stayed bridge, a repaired and reconfigured existing steel-truss bridge, and extensively reconstructed interchange bridges in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville, Indiana, connecting three interstate highways with the new and reconfigured Ohio River bridges. Design and construction were completed in 2015.

Donald MacDonald Architects worked with the consultant team to integrate the bridge into the adjacent urban areas on both sides of the bridge, including a Hargreaves Jones design urban park. This complex addition to the urban transportation system for Louisville is an excellent example of the longevity of bridge design/durability with a 100-year life span.

Client – KYTC Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
Location – Louisville, Kentucky
Timeline – 2006-2015
Bridge Engineer – IBT Systra
Overall Length – 2,100′
Type – Cable Stayed Bridge
Main Span – two 700′ spans
Spans – 6 river spans
Deck Width – 102′
Tower Height – 195′
Cost – $1.1B

The Downtown Crossing is designed to be the main transportation conduit for the greater Louisville metropolitan area to cross the Ohio River. The new 2,100-foot long cable-stayed bridge itself is made up of three sets of twin tower pylons creating two 700-foot main spans, which will carry six northbound traffic lanes. It is designed to work in concert with the repaired, existing steel–truss bridge directly adjacent to it, which carries six southbound traffic lanes. Extensive design coordination between the two bridges and their numerous approach piers was conducted due to the heavy river traffic in this area.

Donald MacDonald Architects helped lead the government-mandated aesthetics and enhancements public planning process. DMD also participated in numerous presentations and collaboration meetings with local and regional stakeholder groups, for each of the three project sections.


  • “2016 America’s Transportation Awards competition in the category “Quality of Life/Community Development – Large Category.”