|Location:||Downtown Cincinnati (north)|
|Newport, Kentucky (south)|
|Name:||Newport Southbank Bridge|
|Nickname:||Purple People Bridge|
|Original Name:||Newport & Cincinnati Bridge|
|Interim Name:||Louisville & Nashville RR Bridge|
|Structure Type:||Steel Truss|
The bridge was originally named the Newport & Cincinnati Railroad Bridge and provided the first Ohio River crossing for trains in Cincinnati. The bridge deck was heavily modified in 1897 in order to provide two streetcar tracks and a horse cart path. The Louisville and Nashville Railroad bought the bridge in 1904 and modified the cart path for automotive traffic. The bridge was heavily used throughout much of the 20th century, but use slowed in the 80′s and rail traffic ceased entirely in 1987. Automotive use slowed as well and it was closed to traffic in 2001.
The City of Newport, Kentucky and an economic development group partnered to rehabilitate the bridge in order to provide a direct pedestrian link from Cincinnati to the Newport on the Levee lifestyle center. A number of paint schemes were shown to various focus groups and – surprisingly – all the groups favored the purple scheme. It was nicknamed the “Purple People Bridge” and reopened to pedestrian use in 2003.
If You Go:
The Purple People Bridge is generally open for public use to cross the river. The south bridge approach is directly adjacent to Newport on the Levee and Newport Aquarium. There is plenty of parking available here as part of the mall. The north approach connects to Pete Rose Way and is a short walk from Great American Ballpark.
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