Newport City Council weighs Blue Bridge renovations

Newport City Council weighs Blue Bridge renovations

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - Blue Bridge renovation talks picked up again in Newport.

City leaders are analyzing a new feasibility study to see if they can afford the changes.

Essentially, the historic Blue Bridge could become an outdoor walking trail. A team of Clinton School of Public Service students presented this idea to the Newport City Council in 2013.

Newport Mayor David Stewart said the city council voted Tuesday night to apply for grants to fund the renovations. The city submitted applications Wednesday morning.

The Highway Commission proposed to give the city about $1 million to upgrade and maintain the bridge.

The city council now has to vote to accept the bridge or not. Even if the city receives grant funding and the city council votes to accept the bridge, Jon Chadwell, Executive Director of Newport Economic Development, work cannot be done on the renovations until the new bridge adjacent to the Blue Bridge is complete.

City leaders said work should be done on the new bridge by April 2016.

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