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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Purple People Bridge to partially reopen Thursday, July 1

Northernmost portion will remain closed 


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The Purple People Bridge, a regional destination that has been closed for nearly two months, will partially reopen at 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 1. 
 

The engineering firm of WSP USA has inspected the bridge and determined that the portion of the bridge south of Pier 1 can be safely reopened to the public. However, barriers will be installed on the northern section of the bridge, at the state line, to prevent pedestrians from crossing the bridge. Access will only be allowed from the Kentucky side of the river.  
 
The reopening announcement was made by Jack Moreland, who is retiring Thursday as the president of both The Newport Southbank Bridge Company - which operates the Purple People Bridge - and Southbank Partners.  
 
"Until those repairs are made, access will be limited to the Kentucky side of the bridge,” Moreland said. “Pedestrians will be able to walk on the bridge up until the state line but will not be permitted to walk the length of the bridge between Ohio and Kentucky until repairs are made on the Ohio side of the bridge.” 
 
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Plans for reopening the bridge are being developed to determine the scope and cost of the repairs as well as how the repairs will be funded. A decision on when major public events, such as the Party on the Purple, will be announced at a later date.  
 
The bridge has been closed since May 11 after stones from Pier 1 reportedly fell into the Ohio River. 
 
“We have appreciated the public’s patience while we worked through this situation,” Moreland said. “We know how popular the Purple People Bridge is, and our focus is getting it fully reopened. But for now, at least part of the bridge can be utilized and enjoyed once again.” 

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