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Purple People Bridge permanent fix underway

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Bill Rinehart
/
WVXU
Leo Dahring, (left) from contracting company SSRG, explains the work to Bridge Company President Will Weber as a cloud of sandstone dust drifts up from the work site. Dahring says the worksite is ventilated well enough that the dust is not harmful.

Permanent repairs to the Purple People Bridge started earlier this week, and they should be done soon. Bridge Company President Will Weber says a chunk of sandstone fell from the number one pier in May, 2021, and kept the bridge completely to partially closed until November.

“It should be done by Labor Day,” he says. “We’ll be in good shape, one project behind us, and hopefully we can do some preventative maintenance on the remaining piers that we have to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Weber says the bridge will stay open through the construction.

The pedestrian bridge between Newport and Cincinnati was closed for about six months last year. The Purple People Bridge Company is observing the 150th anniversary of the bridge this year.

Weber says they had hoped to have the permanent repairs done by last spring. “But with the engineering, the contractors, trying to figure out the best approach for the design/build, and make sure we can stay within budget and on-time," they couldn't.

Weber says another announcement about the bridge's aesthetics is coming next week.

Purple_People_Bridge_81922-1.jpg
Bill Rinehart
/
WVXU
The pier that lost the sandstone chunk has been jacked up and braced, and the contractor is refilling the gap with rebar and concrete.

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.