Ownership Change May Lead to Re-opening New Harmony Bridge
Residents on both sides of the Wabash River hope an ownership transfer that was completed last week will mean the New Harmony bridge will eventually re-open to vehicle traffic.
The White County Bridge Commission has owned the New Harmony bridge since 1941.
However, since the bridge commission was considered a private owner, state and federal funding was not available for maintenance on the bridge. Structural issues forced officials to close the bridge in 2012.
The new owners are a joint Indiana-Illinois bridge authority, known as the Illinois New Harmony Bridge Authority and the Indiana New Harmony and Wabash River Authority. The transfer took place on Feb. 19.
The new authorities are eligible for state and federal funding to rehabilitate the bridge to open to vehicle traffic. A release announcing the ownership change says a committee of the new joint bridge authorities is negotiating with a structural engineering firm to do an in-depth study on the bridge to see what needs to be fixed in order to re-open the bridge to traffic.