Communities working to bridge the gap at New Harmony - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Communities working to bridge the gap at New Harmony

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A grassroots movement is gaining momentum in Posey and White counties on Wednesday night to get the New Harmony Bridge back open for business between Indiana and Illinois.

Citizens from both sides of the river are taking it upon themselves to make sure this privately owned bridge gets into public hands. The bridge hasn't seen traffic since its closure in May of last year. 

On Tuesday night, about four dozen people gathered at the Rapp-Owen Granary and formed the group, Citizens for Reopening the Harmony Way Bridge, in reference to the bridge's original name. Their main goal is to find a public entity be it a city, a county, or other entity to take ownership of the bridge.
The committee says that would then allow them to go after public dollars toward the repair or construction of a new bridge.

It appears there is some interest from the public sector. Posey County Commissioner Mike Walden says the county could be interested.

"You take a lot of responsibility and a lot of responsibility for a lot of money when you do that, but since the fertilizer plant has come in and we're going to see some tremendous improvements all the way around, what better time than now to bring New Harmony into it," Walden says.

"We can do all the talking that we want to about this subject, but until that private entity is transferred into public entity, we can't get anything done," group organizer, Bill Wilson says.

Walden told the group he would vote for the county to take ownership of the bridge if it came before the commission.

Members of the group say they're organizing a petition drive and will work closely with local governments.

Their next public meeting is set for July 24.

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