Newport Southbank Bridge a.k.a. Purple People Bridge, Newport

4.5
#3 of 8 in Things to do in Newport
Bridge Tourist Spot
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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  • My husband and I visited Cincinnati for the first time this past week. When I saw reviews of this bridge, I thought who would review a bridge? But here I am reviewing it. We went on Wednesday night an...  more »
  • They have a cool name and a cool paint job. But the bottom line is that it's a bridge across the river! I'm not sure why that's an attraction, but that's just me.  more »
  • It is an only walk-bike bridge, so no traffic. Great place in Cincinnati to take a walk to the Kentucky side (or the other way round). On the north side, there is, of course, the downtown Cincinnati. ...  more »
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  • It is an only walk-bike bridge, so no traffic. Great place in Cincinnati to take a walk to the Kentucky side (or the other way round). On the north side, there is, of course, the downtown Cincinnati. On the south end (Kentucky side), there is Newport On The Levee which is an amazing complex with AMC theaters, many restaurants, Barnes and Noble, Newport Aquarium, Axis Alley (for bowling and booze), Brothers Bar, and much more. During summers, every Wednesday, there is a party on this bridge where you have food/beer trucks on both the sides and live music playing in the middle of the bridge. You can also continue your walk on the left along the flood wall till the Port of Entry. Overall, a great place to be, if you are in Cincinnati.
  • Southbank Partners has a history of not renting to people of color. In their unprofessionalism they took our monies for the deposit and payment then once they saw that one of our partners is a rap artist they cancelled our event without discussing their decision or at least giving us the courtesy to modify our website (their reason for canceling was our website did not represent the bridge well - this after I told them I created a separate website for our event which was a start contrast to what was on ours which was rap videos). They have the right to do whatever they want with their bridge but the manner in which they handled the issue was extremely gross. We had talent booked and flying in so plane tickets were purchased, we had expenses for models and designers and all of their hard work was cancelled as well. The bridge did not show any concerns or respect to the efforts that was made to planning our event nor the respect of working with us to ensure the venue was "represented well". In my opinion they are a racist organization in a former slave state with still a slave-driver mentality. If you are of color or diversity I would strongly recommend you weigh your options before you invest in this most prejudice organization.
  • This bridge...oh this bridge is something you don't want to eat fried Payday candy bars on. I'm sure you can guess why.
  • The Purple People Bridge is a clean pedestrian bridge linking Newport to Cincinnati. It makes for a fun walk especially with kids.