Local lawmakers reintroduce Restore the Harmony Way Bridge Act

New hope for Restore the Harmony Way Bridge Act

POSEY CO., Ind. (WFIE) - Local lawmakers team up again to help restore the New Harmony Bridge.

The bridge, which connects Posey and White Counties, has been closed since 2012 due to lack of funding to repair it.

This week, Congressman Larry Bucshon and John Shimkus with Senators Mike Braun, Todd Young, Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin reintroduced the Restore the Harmony Way Bridge Act.

“It’s owned by a federal bridge commission, which is the only bridge in America owned that way and so the states and local communities really can’t do anything because it’s kind of an ownership black hole there,” Congressman Bucshon says.

This bridge is one historic piece to an already historic town and over the years it brought in a lot of tourism.

“Very important artery for Illinois for them and for us," says longtime New Harmony resident, Bill Wilson. "When it closed down it changed the way we live. It was constantly. We had people from Illinois Indiana New Harmony on weekends especially.”

The Harmony Way Bridge was a direct path between Posey County Indiana and White County Illinois since the 1930′s.

After it closed in 2012, Wilson said have seen fewer and fewer people in town.

“A lot of local people, we used to see almost every weekend here, I haven’t seen since it closed you know, it’s just crazy how that works,” Wilson explained.

Some people still aren’t even sure if the bridge is opened or closed.

“We come to this bridge here and it’s still closed, we can’t get across so we’re going to have to take a large detour to get where we want to go,” said Charles Bellamy.

The federal law that led to building the bridge, has also prevented it from being refurbished and reopened because it would cost so much.

If passed, the Restore the Harmony Way Bridge Act would transfer the bridge from federal to state control.

The legislation puts the bridge's future in the hands of the states of Indiana and Illinois.

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