Newport Keeping "Open Dialogue" Over Falling Bricks On Purple People Bridge

Jul 6, 2018

A section underneath the Purple People Bridge remains closed after evidence of falling bricks, however the bridge itself is open and "structurally sound."

Southbank Partners owns the Purple People Bridge that is open to pedestrians and cyclists, and regularly holds events on it. President Jack Moreland says the organization has made some repairs but isn't responsible for the northern access to the bridge where the bricks are falling, that's Cincinnati.

Here you can see evidence of a few of the missing bricks.
Credit Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Here you can see evidence of a few of the missing bricks. Credit Bill Rinehart/WVXU

Moreland says a lawsuit Cincinnati filed in 2016 was thrown out. "We haven't really resolved the issue to the satisfaction of some folks. But what it did do, I think, is it encourages us, meaning the folks at the bridge company, to reach out to the folks in Cincinnati to say lets keep a dialogue going with this so we don't have to go to court again."

At issue was who was responsible for the northern access to the bridge.

Southbank did make some repairs caused by erosion.

An engineering study in 2014 said the bridge was structurally sound and would likely be around another 100 years.

Southbank plans to paint the bridge - yes, it will still be purple - as soon as it raises $1 million.

An estimated 600,000 people walk across the Purple People Bridge every year.
Credit Michael Keating / WVXU