After removing the tracks and dismantling the rail approach viaducts, CSX also stopped painting the railroad half of the bridge while the Kentucky Highway Department (which had been sold the automobile portion) continued painting the automobile side blue, resulting by the early 1990's in a blue and rust combination.
In 2006 The Purple People Bridge climb opened atop the bridge's trusses, an attraction inspired by the Harbour Bridge climb in Sydney, Australia.
A major condominium development will break ground in 2007 on the Cincinnati side of the bridge, and streetcars might return to the bridge in the next five years as Phase II of the modern streetcar system currently under study for downtown Cincinnati.
The railroad track trusses were rebuilt to carry heavier modern equipment, a sturdier automobile side (previously a walking and carriage path) was constructed, and two entirely new street car tracks were added.
The orientation of the street car tracks became the bridge's most unusual design feature -- the "east" track was sandwiched between the railroad track and automobile lanes, while the "west" street car track cantilevered off the west side of the bridge, outside of the through trusses.
The L&N Bridge opened in 1872 as the first Ohio River railroad crossing at Cincinnati.