Community input inspires the “Spoke” 4th Street Bridge design between Newport and Covington

On May 25, nearly fifty advocates and supporters hailing from Newport, Covington, and Cincinnati attended the City of Newport’s May 2023 Commission meeting to demand a safe and iconic 4th Street Bridge design.

This show of support is in direct response to a woman being hit and killed while cycling in Newport in August 2022. In January 2023, Newport city officials made plans to increase bicycle safety and accessibility.  

The presentation was a response to recently released bridge designs by Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) during the last week in March at the Kenton County Government Center. Representatives from KYTC were on hand to answer the public’s questions regarding the bridge project. 

In an effort spurred by The Devou Good Foundation, the organization’s president, Matt Butler, presented a “Spoke” design, created from community input, at the Commission meeting which incorporated the following priorities:
  • A safe three-lane, transit-ready bridge with a shared-use path that won’t disrupt community life in Covington or Newport.
  • Protection and provision of significant space for pedestrians and those people who use modes of transportation other than automobiles. 
  • Becomes a vibrant connection between the two river cities Newport and Covington: showcasing both as beautiful destinations and vibrant neighborhoods. 
  • Complete teardown and rebuild with future rail transit.  

“This process has definitely been a community driven initiative,” said Butler. “We are hopeful that Newport will take the lead and move forward with the next steps of reaching out to Covington and KYTC to start the conversation about what this bridge should look like.”

“It was really a team effort,” said Jim Guthrie, the principal architect at Hub+Weber who was behind the bridge designs presented at the Commission meeting. “We have worked with Matt and The Devou Good Foundation on many different projects in the region and we wanted to help to visualize this project, because we know that sometimes it can be difficult to convey an idea without that visualization piece.” 

“The presentation was very well thought out,” said Sharmane Gregory, a long-time Newport resident who attended the Commission meeting. “I especially like the Spoke design and LED lighting concepts. I also like that the public is being included in the process of deciding what type of bridge is built.” 

Please visit Coalition for Transit and Sustainable Development Greater Cincinnati (CTSD) for additional information or to sign the online position to show your support.
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Read more articles by Kareem A. Simpson.

Raised in the inner city of Covington, Kentucky, Kareem Simpson is an author, innovator, community enthusiast, military veteran, serial entrepreneur, foodie and lover of all things creative.