NEW HARMONY, Ind. (WFIE) - Members of the New Harmony-Wabash River Bridge Authority say Indiana has give $350,000 in funding for the long-awaited re-opening of the History Harmony Way Bridge.
According to a news releases, the bridge was built in 1930 by a private company and purchased by the Federal government in 1941.
The steel truss bridge had 78 years of unique ownership in a federally appointed commission, The White County Bridge Commission.
The three-member commission managed the bridge as a toll funded interstate bridge until it’s closure in 2012 because of insufficient funds for some needed repairs.
Since the ownership didn’t rest with Indiana or Illinois, the bridge remained closed.
After a few years, funding from the Regional Cities Initiative and the Efroymson Family fund gave financing for the project, but the complicated ownership of the bridge blocked any work.
After legal battles finally cleared the ownership troubles, time had run out to use the Regional Cities money.
Officials say this $350,000 from Indiana will cover half of the half of the estimated inspection and repair costs to re-open the bridge, which should then self-sustain as a toll bridge once it’s re-opened.
The other half of the funding is expected to come the state of Illinois through the IL bridge authority.
As we reported in 2018, there has also been a private donation of $50,000 from the Parker Family Foundation.
That grant money was set to expire at the end of the year, but the president of the foundation tells us the board extended the deadline for six more months.