Not typically known for high tech outside of the previously identified industries, the city in the 2010s has been at or near the forefront of some high-tech-related developments. In April 2017, Google Fiber confirmed that Louisville will be wired for its ultrafast network. Meanwhile, since October 2016, AT&T Fiber has been building out its similar service in the city as well as neighboring counties in Indiana.
Louisville for a long time was also home to the Belknap Hardware and Manufacturing Company, at its peak one of the largest manufacturers and wholesale distributors of hardware in the United States, as well as Brown & Williamson, the third-largest company in the tobacco industry before merging with R. J. Reynolds in 2004 to form the Reynolds American Company.
Louisville prides itself in its large assortment of small, independent businesses and restaurants, some of which have become known for their ingenuity and creativity. In 1926, the Brown Hotel became the home of the Hot Brown “sandwich”. A few blocks away, the Seelbach Hotel, which F. Scott Fitzgerald references in The Great Gatsby, is also famous for a secret back room where Al Capone would regularly meet with associates during the Prohibition era. The drink the Old Fashioned was invented in Louisville’s Pendennis Club.
As with most American cities, transportation in Louisville is based primarily on automobiles. However, the city traces its foundation to the era where the river was the primary means of transportation, and railroads have been an important part of local industry for over a century. In more recent times, Louisville has become an international hub for air cargo.
Louisville has inner and outer interstate beltways, I-264 and I-265 respectively. Interstates I-64 and I-65 pass through Louisville, and I-71 has its southern terminus in Louisville. Since all three of these highways intersect at virtually the same location on the east side of downtown, this spot has become known as “Spaghetti Junction“.
Two bridges carry I-64 and I-65 over the Ohio River, and a third automobile bridge carries non-interstate traffic, including bicyclists and pedestrians. Immediately east of downtown is the Big Four Bridge, a former railroad bridge now renovated as a pedestrian bridge.
The Ohio River Bridges Project, a plan under consideration for decades to construct two new interstate bridges over the Ohio River to connect Louisville to Indiana, including a reconfiguration of Spaghetti Junction, began construction in 2012. One bridge, the Abraham Lincoln Bridge, is located downtown beside the existing Kennedy Bridge for relief of I-65 traffic. The other, named the Lewis and Clark Bridge, connects I-265 between the portions located in southeast Clark County, Indiana and northeast Jefferson County, Kentucky (Louisville Metro). Both bridges and corresponding construction were finished in 2016.
Louisville International Airport:
Louisville’s main airport is the centrally located Louisville International Airport, whose IATA Airport Code (SDF) reflects its former name of Standiford Field. The airport is also home to UPS’s Worldport global air hub. UPS operates its largest package-handling hub at Louisville International Airport and bases its UPS Airlines division there. Over 3.2 million passengers and over 4.7 billion pounds of cargo pass through the airport each year. It is also the third busiest airport in the United States in terms of cargo traffic, and seventh busiest for such in the world. Furthermore, since Louisville is located only around 35 minutes from Fort Knox, the airport is a major hub for armed services personnel traveling to and from the military installation. The historic but smaller Bowman Field is used mainly for general aviation while nearby Clark Regional Airport is used mostly by private jets.