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Purple People Bridge reopens Friday with holiday lighting ceremony

Bill Rinehart

The Purple People Bridge reopens completely Friday. It's been closed on the Cincinnati side since May, when part of a support pier fell off. Temporary repairs are complete, and the bridge's owners will tie the reopening to a holiday event. The Newport Southbank Bridge Company and others will light up the bridge with a ceremony that night at 6 p.m.

The Newport Southgate Bridge Company says it received $354,000 in donations for the repair work. 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.

An estimate in August put the costs 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," he says.

Bill Rinehart
Railroad ties are used to take some of the weight off the pier until more permanent repairs can be made.

Pedestrians were allowed on the bridge from the south side July 1, but it was a one-way trip. Gates on the Cincinnati side stayed closed.