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Purple People Bridge Owner Hires Engineering Firm to Evaluate Status, Safety

The Newport Southbank Bridge, better known locally as the Purple People Bridge, remains closed to pedestrians following discovery that a large stone had fallen from a pier on the north bank of the Ohio River on May 11.

The privately-owned bridge connects Newport to Cincinnati and when open, is only available to pedestrians.

In the weeks since the closure, events have been moved and local pedestrian and cyclist traffic has been disrupted.

On Thursday, the Newport Southbank Bridge Company, which owns and operates the bridge, said that it had hired engineering firm WSP USA to evaluate the status and safety of the span as well as to determine the potential extent of repairs needed to reopen it.

"We once again ask for the public's patience as we work diligently to reopen the popular span, so that it can be enjoyed in the safest manner possible," the Newport Southbank Bridge Co. said in a statement.

-Staff report