POSEY CO., Ind. (WFIE) - President Donald Trump signed the Restore the Harmony Way Bridge Act into law Friday.
The legislation was reintroduced to Congress in July by Rep. Larry Bucshon and John Shimkus with Senators Mike Braun, Todd Young, Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin.
The U.S. Senate passed the bill at the end of July, sending it the president’s desk to be signed.
The New Harmony Bridge, which connects Posey and White Counties, has been closed since 2012 due to lack of funding to repair it. The federal law that led to building the bridge, has also prevented it from being refurbished and reopened because it would cost so much.
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, residents said they have seen fewer and fewer people in town.
“If we could get it back open for through traffic, people passing through would have the tendency to stop and hopefully shop local,” Town Council President, Alvin Blaylock, said.
“There’s a strong agriculture connection across the river," said Ronald Elmer, with the New Harmony Bridge Authority. "The bridge was used extensively back and forth for that purpose, so this is a major, or was, and will be again, a major thoroughfare.”
The Restore the Harmony Way Bridge Act transfers the bridge from federal control to the bridge authorities of Indiana and Illinois. That allows the local communities to figure out how to best refurbish the bridge.
There’s a Bridge Authority meeting scheduled at 10 a.m. on Wednesday to discuss plans moving forward.