NEW HARMONY, Ind. (WFIE) - Bridge officials announce they will be one step closer to finding out if the New Harmony Way Bridge can safely reopen on Monday.
The Indiana New Harmony and Wabash River Bridge Authority and the Illinois New Harmony River Bridge Authority have selected Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc to conduct an in-depth study of the bridge to determine potential reopening.
Bridge officials state the study will focus on structural integrity, safety, design and construction options for the rehabilitation of the historic bridge.
“Depending on what’s in there, it’s going to dictate the other two. If we had our choices, we’d try to have it opened sometime in 2021, but a lots going to depend on what comes out of these reports,” said Ronald Eimer.
The objective in the first phase is an inspection and evaluation to determine if the bridge is structurally sound and can be refurbished and, if so, the second phase of evaluation will be conducted by WJE in August to include a more extensive evaluation of bridge sections that are in need of repair or replacement along with design options and construction costs.
On June 29 through July 1, WJE will conduct the remainder of the phase one study with preliminary on-site “arms-length” inspection of the bridge which will involve a crew of engineers and technicians to:
- Climb the trusses to evaluate primary truss members
- Inspect the Illinois and Indiana approach spans from beneath the bridge using a boom lift
- Inspect the concrete piers, steel bents, and other structural members from below the bridge
- Perform drone operations to take pictures of various areas of the bridge and the bridge deck
Authorities say they should receive the results from this study by the end of the summer.
Those results will determine any options for the potential reopening of the bridge.