The Purple People Bridge, connecting Newport to Cincinnati for pedestrians, is temporarily closed after a "large stone" fell out of the first pier into the Ohio River Tuesday afternoon.
The city of Cincinnati was the first to put out the word of possible danger with this tweet:
We were informed this afternoon of a large stone falling out of the 1st pier in the Ohio River on the Newport Southbank Bridge (Purple People). This has loosened one of the stones directly underneath. We are working with @CincyPD to immediately close the bridge for public safety
— City of Cincinnati (@CityOfCincy) May 11, 2021
The engineering department says structural engineers were on the scene determining the extent of any damage to the bridge.
Southbank Partners owns the bridge and put out this statement:
"Following reports that a large stone fell from the Purple People Bridge into the Ohio River, the Newport Southbank Bridge Company has been informed by The Newport Police that the bridge will be temporarily closed to the public. Access will be restricted until a qualified structural engineer can review the structure and determine when it is safe for the public to return to the bridge. We will continue to work with the cities of Newport and Cincinnati on this evolving situation."
This is not the first time engineers have had to inspect the Purple People Bridge. Bricks fell off it in 2018 as WVXU reported.
At the time there was some discussion as to who was responsible - Southbank Partners (which owns the bridge) or the city of Cincinnati.
An engineering study in 2014 said the bridge was structurally sound and would likely be around another 100 years.