Purple People Bridge, Festival Park and Alexandria Community Park
NEWPORT, Ky. (April 26, 2022) – Governor Andy Beshear today awarded $406,000 in Campbell County for three projects improving outdoor infrastructure and recreational spaces at the Purple People Bridge, Newport Festival Park and Alexandria Community Park.
“Families in Kentucky deserve safe and fun outdoor spaces where they can stay healthy, get fresh air, and spend time with loved ones,” Gov. Beshear mentioned. “As a father — and as a governor — I know we can build a better Kentucky by investing in our infrastructure, especially structures that benefit our children. The Purple People Bridge, Festival Park and Alexandria Community Park are all huge assets to the Campbell County community and I am proud to present this funding to help them make them even better.
Purple People’s Bridge
The Governor awarded $175,000 to the City of Newport for improvements to the Purple People Bridge, a pedestrian bridge that connects Kentucky to Ohio. It is the longest such connector in the country that connects two states. In addition to serving walkers and cyclists, the bridge is also wide enough to accommodate festivals and other events. Nearly one million people cross the bridge each year.
The funding comes from the Department of Local Government’s Recreational Pathways Program (RTP) and will support bridge maintenance needs, particularly expansion joints between bridge sections and sandstone repairs to the bridge piers. The project also includes other improvements, such as improving electrical and water service and improving the bridge deck by stripping old pavement markings and resurfacing tarred areas at the approach.
“The Purple People Bridge is an iconic landmark in the Recreational Trail Program in Northern Kentucky”, Senator Wil Schroder mentioned. “The grant provided for the maintenance and improvement of the paths of this pedestrian bridge will allow future generations to enjoy it.”
“The Purple People Bridge unites our region, brings us all together and encourages us all to get outside. Whether Kentuckians are walking to a Reds game, Cincinnatians are biking to visit the Levee, or you’re part of one of the hundreds of running groups that use it daily, it connects our area in a wonderful way,” said Representative Rachel Roberts, which represents part of Campbell County. “I am grateful that this grant allows for repairs and maintenance and ensures that we can all continue to connect through the bridge.”
“The Purple People Bridge Allows Pedestrian Traffic Between Newport and Cincinnati”, Department of Local Government Commissioner Dennis Keene mentioned. “I remember working hard to establish Newport on the levee when I was a state representative, and the businesses there depend on that foot traffic. It’s a big win for Newport and for Kentucky.
“The Purple People Bridge is an extremely important connector for the whole region,” said Newport Mayor Tom Guidugli Jr. mentioned. “We would like to thank Governor Beshear and the State of Kentucky for this much-needed grant. This is vital funding that will be used to support and maintain this historic regional asset.
“On behalf of the Bridge Company and all of Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati, we thank Governor Beshear for his support of the Purple People Bridge,” President of Newport Southbank Bridge Company Will Weber mentioned. “This grant will fund much-needed maintenance and upgrades to the Purple People Bridge. It also recalls the commitment to promote tourism, economic development and community improvements in the Commonwealth.
Newport Festival Park
Governor Beshear has awarded the City of Newport $200,000 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to build play areas at Festival Park. This project will also improve ADA-compliant access to the upper and lower terraces of Festival Park and provide new amenities to the park.
Alexandria Community Park Picnic Shelter
Governor Beshear awarded $31,000 to the City of Alexandria from the LWCF. The project involves the demolition of the current picnic shelter at Alexandria Community Park and the construction of a larger shelter that will cover more than double the area of the existing shelter.
“The City of Alexandria is thrilled to receive the Land and Water Conservation Fund grant, to build the Park Council’s vision of a larger, more accommodating picnic shelter with flat seating. -inclusive form at Alexandria Community Park”, Andy Schabell, Mayor of Alexandria mentioned. “Each year we see the growing popularity of our park, and this welcome addition will provide many with a shaded place to enjoy the outdoors, for years to come.”
About the Recreational Trails Program
The RTP is funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). It can be used to provide assistance for the acquisition of easements, development and/or maintenance of recreational trails and trailhead facilities for motorized and non-motorized use. RTP benefits communities and improves quality of life. All trails that have received FHWA funding must remain open to the public and maintained in perpetuity.
About the Land and Water Conservation Fund
The LWCF provides federal grants to protect important natural areas, acquire land for outdoor recreation, and develop or renovate public outdoor recreation facilities such as campgrounds, picnic areas, sports and playgrounds, swimming facilities, boating facilities, fishing facilities, trails, passive areas and parks. To receive federal funds, which are administered at the state level by the Department of Local Government, selected applicants must pass a federal exam and receive approval from the National Park Service.