28 votes

Purple People Bridge

Across the Ohio River, Newport, Kentucky 41071 USA

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“Points of Interest in Newport, KY”

The Newport Southbank Bridge, popularly known as the Purple People Bridge, stretches 2,670 feet over the Ohio River, connecting Newport, Kentucky to downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.HistoryThe original bridge first opened on April 1, 1872, under the name Newport and Cincinnati Bridge, and was Cincinnati's first railroad bridge spanning the Ohio River. The bridge piers were built with stone from Adams County, Ohio. The present bridge opened in 1896 to streetcar, pedestrian and automobile traffic.In 1904, the bridge was renamed the L&N (Louisville and Nashville) Railroad Bridge, and this name remained until the bridge was rehabilitated and re-opened as a pedestrian-only bridge in May 2003.The bridge was closed to railroad traffic in 1987, and later closed to automobile traffic in October 2001 after years of neglect and deterioration.On April 17, 2001, the L&N Railroad Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.In late 2001, the city of Newport, Kentucky, and Southbank Partners, an economic development group, used $4 million in state funds to restore the bridge. When it was time to decide on what color to paint it, a variety of options were explored. Computer-generated images of the bridge were shown to participants in more than a dozen focus groups, all of whom picked the color purple as a top choice. It was soon coined the "Purple People Bridge" by area residents.The bridge provides convenient access to the "Newport on the Levee" development in Newport, Kentucky, as well as Downtown Cincinnati.

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Reviewed by
Ken Valuska

  • Expert
  • 592 Reviews
  • 173 Helpful
February 09, 2016
Rated 4.0

definitely a staple of the Cincinnati downtown area - a cool bridge to walk/bike/run across, take pictures, etc. Definitely will use Natalie's "pro-tip" and look into renting this place out

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Natalie Akers

  • Road Warrior
  • 373 Reviews
  • 130 Helpful
February 05, 2016
Rated 5.0

One of my favorite features of Cincy's riverfront. This is a pedestrian bridge with a relaxed vibe where you can run and bike it or stop for hours to check out the locks people leave in memorandum / honor and watch the water roll by. It's also my preferred method for walking across the river. Lands you right next to the Newport Aquarian and Newport by the Levy. In summer this gets plenty of traffic. Pro tip: rent this baby out for surprisingly affordable fee.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Anna Hider

  • Blogger
  • 1,414 Reviews
  • 618 Helpful
May 18, 2016
Rated 4.0

My idea of a good day: Park in Kentucky, hit up somewhere in Newport for drinks (the Hoffbrauhaus, probably), walk across the Purple People Bridge to Great American Ballpark, watch a Reds game, then walk back across the bridge, get another drink, go home, go to bed.

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Purple People Bridge

Across the Ohio River
Newport, Kentucky
41071 USA

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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