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Purple People Bridge Restoration

Newport, Kentucky, USA

Lindapter Girder Clamps provided a solution for securing a maintenance walkway to the existing bridge.

Location: Newport, Kentucky, USA
Product: Type LR & Type B Girder Clamps
Market: Structural Engineering / Bridge
Client: Newport Southbank Bridge Co

The Newport Southbank Bridge – popularly known as The Purple People Bridge – opened in 1872 and was the first railroad bridge spanning the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. In 2001 the bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and was closed permanently to automobiles.

The City of Newport and Southbank Partners received $4 million in state funds to paint and restore the bridge. This project would revive the bridge as a pedestrian link between Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky and help regenerate areas on both sides of the river.

As part of the restoration project the 2,670 ft long bridge required a permanent maintenance walkway adding along the entire length. The walkway would allow a safe way for engineers to carry out ongoing repairs and maintenance after the restoration. The challenge was to find a suitable method of connecting the steel walkway to the existing bridge without damaging it. Drilling and bolting the original steel was not permitted and welding at height would have been difficult and costly.

Lindapter designed a solution which included the specification of Type LR and Type B girder clamps on different areas of the project. Type LR clamps were chosen because of their self-adjusting feature that allowed them to fit a range of flange thicknesses and tapered beams on different parts of the bridge.

Type B clamps were specified in both 4 and 6 bolt configurations to connect the main walkway frames to the angled bridge structure. This allowed contractors to adjust both the height and lateral position of each connection point onto the existing steel and avoided drilling or welding as only hand tools are required to tighten.

The contractor benefited from the lateral adjustability of the girder clamps, which allowed a quick alignment of the steel before the clamps were tightened with basic hand tools. The Type LR was particularly useful for this application because they adjusted to suit the various beam flange thicknesses found on the bridge.

Lindapter Girder Clamps provided a drilling and weld free connection that prevented any damage to the existing steel bridge. Contractors found the installation quick and easy due to the adjustability of the clamps, allowing the project to be completed on schedule.

Both the Type LR and Type B girder clamps have independent technical accreditations, including the CE mark (ETA-13/0300), TÜV and Lloyd’s Register approvals, which verify the load and slip capacities that led to a safe and successful installation. The bridge re-opened in 2006 as a pedestrian only crossing and is marketed as a tourist attraction and event venue.

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Reasons to choose Lindapter

  • Save time and money

    Save time and money

    Clamping two steel sections together avoids time-consuming welding or conventional drilling and bolting.

  • Safer connections

    Safer connections

    Drilling and welding in the field is avoided, removing the need for hot work permits and encouraging safer site conditions.

  • High strength

    High strength

    Lindapter clamps are manufactured from high strength materials to resist high load requirements and harsh environments.

  • Industry leading approvals

    Industry leading approvals

    Lindapter has earned a reputation synonymous with safety and reliability, gaining multiple independent approvals.

  • Adjustable


    Quickly align steel sections by sliding the section into the correct position before tightening the Girder Clamp to complete the installation.

  • Free connection detailing

    Free connection detailing

    Lindapter’s experienced Engineers can detail a custom connection based on your specific requirements free of charge.

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