EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -The U.S. House passed the Harmony Way Bridge Act, clearing the way for Indiana and Illinois to put together a team to determine the future of the bridge.
This could mean better access to new funding for the project, but it is causing one of the biggest debates in the community: What to do with the New Harmony Bridge?
“It has always been a traffic bridge so that’s everybody context for understanding what the bridge is for the idea of a pedestrian bridge is a new way of thinking about using the structure. so that always takes a little more imagination since we’ve never seen it used that way” said Vice President of Indiana bridge authority Lora Arneberg.
The Indiana Bridge Authority has already started gathering funding for restoring the bridge as a pedestrian friendly walk way. This new act could change the restoring plans and give the community both a pedestrian and vehicle friendly bridge.
“It could be both um it could be both at the same time. It could open as pedestrian initially and five years be traffic or vice versa” said Arneberg.
Despite the controversy, people we talked to tell us they just want a complete transformation for this historic bridge.
“It’s such a win at a time when there is so many complicated political issues out there that everyone can get behind out there that everyone agrees on. that opening the bridge repairing it and opening it whatever the use may be is better than letting it sit there and rot” said Arneberg.
The bridge commission is hoping the act will pass through the senate by the new year allowing them to start their next phase by February 2019.