A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

DeVou Good Foundation invests in reopening the Purple People Bridge — to both sides of the river

On May 11, the pedestrian-only Purple People Bridge was closed after a large stone came loose from the first pier on the Cincinnati side and fell into the Ohio River, shutting down a vital link for both sides.

The Devou Good Foundation, dedicated to active transportation, community vibrancy, and equity, took the lead working with Cincinnati, Newport, and the Newport Southbank Bridge Company to facilitate interim and long-term fixes for the bridge committing to up to $154,000 in repairs.

Initially, $38,000 is for interim repairs, followed by up to $116,000 in long-term repairs covering half the cost.

The foundation is encouraging other funders to come to the table.

Additionally, the partners will seek solutions to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety on the approaches on both sides and equitable cost-sharing of repairs on the bridge.

The bridge is integral to the active transportation system and vitality of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Matt Butler, President of the Devou Good Foundation, said, “We are pleased to have brokered an agreement that compels the entities involved to work collaboratively together. We look forward to stabilizing and preserving the bridge for future generations.”
According to data captured by Tri-State Trails, an average of 2,422 crossings were made daily during 2020.
The closure is clearly negatively impacting individuals and businesses, Butler said.

Wade Johnston, executive director of Tri-State Trails, said, “The Purple People Bridge is our region’s most comfortable and accessible connection between Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. This critical investment from the Devou Good Foundation will ensure that the bridge is quickly reopened for all to enjoy for transportation, recreation, and commerce.” 

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