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First Leg of Riverfront Commons to Be Dedicated in Newport

A new walking bridge that connects Newport on the Levee and the Purple People Bridge will be formally dedicated this week.

The project, a new walking path atop the floodwall that runs east of the Levee to the Daniel Carter Beard (I-471/Big Mac) Bridge, is the first completed phase of Riverfront Commons, a waterfront recreational project connecting Northern Kentucky's River Cities.

Southbank Partners, the agency leading the creation of Riverfront Commons, secured the $1.2 million funding through a combination of federal, state, and local dollars.

"This is the first phase of the transformational Riverfront Commons project and is a result of tremendous cooperation between the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the City of Newport," Southbank President Jack Moreland said. 

Newport City Manager Tom Fromme said he is pleased with how the project enhances the city's connection to the Ohio River.

"This phase of the project provides an easy connection between the Levee, the Purple People Bridge and the flood wall," Fromme said. "And it is a great way to connect the city to the river. " 

The bridge and walking path are the first legs of Riverfront Commons,  a planned 11.5 mile walking/biking path that runs along the Ohio River from Ludlow on the west to Ft. Thomas on the east. Eco-system Restoration, Riverside Stabilization, Economic Development and Recreation are benefits from the development of this venue. Nodes (intersecting pathways) will provide connections to attractions in six Northern Kentucky River Cities.
 
Once created Riverfront Commons will make the south bank of the Ohio the most interesting walkway/bikeway in the mid-west, Southbank believes.
 
Riverfront Commons will seamlessly connect over the Purple People Bridge to trails in Cincinnati, to the Licking River Greenway in Northern Kentucky, and to Devou Park in Covington.

The 15-20 foot wide path will feature open park space at strategic points along the river, accommodating both walkers and bikers. A series of points of access, or nodes, will provide easy linkage to neighborhood, residential, business, entertainment and historic districts.

The ribbon-cutting and dedication is Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. Newport Mayor Jerry Peluso and City Manager Tom Fromme will be joined by State Rep. Dennis Keene, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 6 Chief Engineer Rob Hans, and Riverfront Commons Chairman Roger Peterman, who is also a member of the Southbank Board of Directors and chairman of the Northern Kentucky Port Authority.

-Staff report