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Purple People Bridge should reopen by Thanksgiving

Bill Rinehart
The sun rises behind the Purple People (foreground) and Daniel Carter Beard bridges in August, 2021.

The Purple People Bridge will reopen by Thanksgiving, according to the owners.

The Newport Southgate Bridge Company says it has received $354,000 in donations for repairs. The pedestrian bridge over the Ohio River has been closed since May 11, after stones fell from a pier on the Ohio side. Pedestrians were allowed on the bridge from the south side July 1, but it was a one-way trip. Gates on the Cincinnati side have stayed closed.

A statement from the Newport Southgate Bridge Company says it will open fully just for this Saturday, to accommodate the American Cancer Society's fundraising walk. After that, temporary repairs will start, and are expected to be done by Thanksgiving.

Full restoration should be done by next spring. President and CEO Will Weber says the short term repairs are expected to cost $70,000, and the permanent repair costs are estimated at $285,000.

Reporting in August put the cost at close to $230,000. Weber says construction costs have risen. "At this time we do not foresee any funds will remain after all of the work is completed to safely and fully reopen the bridge."

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio in markets including Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.