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

4.6
#3 of 7 in Things to do in Newport
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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Newport Southbank Bridge a.k.a. Purple People Bridge Reviews
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  • Cincinnati-Newport boasts some beautiful bridges. My husband and I made sure to cross each of them on our recent trip to the area.  more »
  • One of my favorite things to do in Newport is taking a walk across this bridge. The last time we were in town, there was a band playing on the bridge. There were also a lot of vendors serving beer and...  more »
  • This was the most fun and free! Mostly a way to exercise and enjoy the sights, but also a few unique ideas such as the state line of Kentucky and Ohio being highlighted right over the middle of the Oh...  more »
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  • Pedestrian only bridge linking downtown Cincinnati (Sawyer Point/Yeatman's Cove park) to Newport on the Levee (shopping mall) in KY. Bicyclists welcomed. Occasionally events are held on bridge. Great views across the Ohio River. Easy 10 to 15 minute stroll from one state to the other for all family members. Emergency phones provided just in case. Bridge monitored by security cameras to ensure rules are followed. If you are looking for something free to do that is fun and unique try this.
  • 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.
  • A wonderful experience to be able to stand, walk, run or ride a bike on. On Wednesday they now have the "party on the purple", great bands, food and drink! This bridge connects Newport on the Levy ( shopping, food , movie theater and The Newport Aquarium) to Downtown Cincinnati parks and stadiums.
  • 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.
  • Great place to visit with the kids

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