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Purple People Bridge reopens Friday, decked in holiday lights

Purple People Bridge
Posted at 12:31 PM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 12:31:28-05

CINCINNATI — The Purple People Bridge, closed since a stone fell from the first pier in May, will reopen on Friday.

The reopening will start with a private ribbon cutting at 5:00 p.m. Afterward, the public can join in for Winter Nights River Lights, as the switch is flipped and the bridge lights up for the holidays.

After its closure in May, the Purple People Bridge was faced with a hefty price tag of over $1 million that included the cost of jacking up the Ohio side of the bridge and repainting it.

In October, a $350,000 donation was made that funded the fixes necessary for the pedestrian-only bridge to reopen by Thanksgiving; it temporarily reopened on Oct. 23 for the American Cancer Society's fundraising run for breast cancer research.

The $350,000 donation doesn't cover everything the bridge was projected to need. In August, the estimated cost of fixing the bridge was $200,000, with an extra $1 million needed to paint it.

The closure of the Purple People Bridge, combined with the closure of the Roebling Bridge and ongoing lane closures on the Brent Spence Bridge, has impacted local businesses on the Northern Kentucky side of the river for most of the year.

"Well, certainly by having them closed as they are now, or half-closed, it makes you realize how much we took them for granted, and how much we depend on them," said Richard Hunt, owner of Roebling Point Books and Coffee in Covington, in May when the Purple People Bridge first closed.