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Purple People Bridge One Step Closer To Full Reopening

Michael Keating

The Purple People Bridge is one step closer to reopening after receiving grants from the The Devou Good Foundation and The John and Sue Topits Foundation. It's been at least partially closed since May 11 after rocks fell off pier 1, near the Cincinnati entrance.

The Devou Good Foundation foundation is offering $154,000 to fund repairs to the bridge, according to a news release.

That includes more than $30,000 for a short-term fix that involves jacking the bridge up so construction crews can insert wooden ties to support the area where the rocks fell, Jack Moreland, a Purple People Bridge board member, said last month. The wooden ties are like the ones used on railroad tracks.

The fix could last from one to five years.

The rest of the money will make a dent on the estimated $230,000 price tag to fix the bridge long term. That involves replacing the areas where the rocks fell with new sandstone or reinforced concrete.

The John and Sue Topits Foundation of Covington is also offering a $100,000 matching grant until Sept. 30 to encourage donations to help with the long-term fixes. Donations for the match can be made at the Purple People Bridge website.

Moreland said last month funds were sparse because repairs to the bridge are usually funded through events, which have been on the decline because of COVID-19.

He said the bridge could open as soon as October, but a news release Monday says a construction timeline will be released soon.

Jolene Almendarez is the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants who came to San Antonio in the 1960s. She was raised in a military family and has always called the city home. She studied journalism at San Antonio College and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Public Communications from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She's been a reporter in San Antonio and Castroville, Texas, and in Syracuse and Ithaca, New York.