Whether you enter Newport from Covington, Cincinnati or Wilder, a new gateway entrance is planned to welcome you. Southbank Partners, the City of Newport and the Newport Foundation announced a partnership Wednesday to build gateways. Two will also have monuments.
"One (will be) at the base of the Fourth street bridge and one at the base of the Taylor Southgate Bridge," said Jack Moreland, President of Southbank Partners. Those two entrances will be roundabouts with a monument in the center which will include historic pictures of Newport.
The third entrance from Wilder will have a gateway arch with a Welcome to Newport sign.
"It will not be as ornate as what we're going to do in the roundabouts, but it will be a fitting way to welcome folks to the city of Newport," Moreland said.
The work is being done as part of the expansion of KY Route 9, also known as the Licking Pike Connector. The Kentucky General Assembly approved the $26 million dollar project in 2012. It's designed to connect the AA Highway ( KY 9) to the Taylor-Southgate Bridge .
"I don't think we can overstate the importance of the Route 9 Connector. If you see what has grown up along the corridor of I-75 coming in through Covington, if you see what's happened on the corridor through Newport of I-471, we feel the Route 9 Connector through the west side of Newport will be at least that dramatic," Moreland said.
The groups are still looking for money to pay for the new gateways. They are going to be soliciting from foundations and private individuals to pay for the project. Moreland says they hope to have the new gateways in place for the Route 9 Connector's grand opening sometime in the fall of 2018.