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Newport to Commemorate When Tolls Were Collected on Sixth Street

Beautification efforts in Newport were the topic at Monday night's city commission caucus meeting. The plans include a new stretch of sidewalks, a new monument, and new trees.

A tollgate that stands under Highway I-471 by Newport High School will soon be erected as a monument to the city’s history. The gate is left over from what was once a functioning tollbooth, back when Sixth Street was a private road, and driving from Bellevue to Newport required paying a toll fee.

Along with the monument, a new stretch of sidewalks will be installed, starting sometime in the next week, according to Doug Roell, Newport Community Service Director.

The new sidewalks will run from the One Stop Liquors on Sixth Street, through the traffic island, through Wildcat Drive by Newport High School, and end just short of the city garage on Ninth Street.

The traffic island will also be shortened and re-shaped so that two-way traffic can pass through. As it stands now, drivers coming from Bellevue into Newport have to do almost a full U-turn to turn onto Wildcat Drive. After construction is completed, the turn onto Wildcat Drive from Sixth Street should be closer to a 90-degree turn.

“This should clean up a lot of the issues down at that intersection, and clean up a lot of the traffic mess,” said City Manager Thomas Fromme.

Fromme also provided an update on the renovation of the deteriorating barrel vaults found at the parking garage entrance at Newport on the Levee. The vaults are nearly 150 years old, and now serve as the archway when entering the garage. Renovation is underway.

More notes:

  • The re-paving of some Newport streets will begin on October 1. A newsletter will be released in the coming week to announce which streets will be paved. The announcement can also be found at

  • Starting in mid-October, 150 trees will be planted around Newport, bringing the total number of trees planted over the past three years up to 350.

  • Sometime next month, demolition will begin on the old Newport public works building on 9th street. In late 2014, the city bought an old Trauth Dairy building to replace the outdated structure.

The next Newport Caucus meeting will take place on Monday, October 3 at the Newport City Government Building. The meeting will begin at 7 pm. The regular city commission meeting will take place on Monday, September 26 at 7 p.m.

Written by Alex Valentine, RCN contributor