Fate Of Harmony Way Bridge Lies In New Hands

Published 08/15 2014 09:54PM

Updated 08/15 2014 10:00PM

"The life is being squeezed out of our rural communities already, and this is just another nail in the coffin."

For two years it's been closed off due to lack of funding.

Tonight, people in New Harmony discuss the possibility of the New Harmony bridge, re-opening.

The decision to open the bridge lies in the hands of the Posey County Commissioners.

Right now, the bridge is owned by a private entity.

If the commissioners takes ownership, then it could get the cash to possibly be repaired and reopened.

Some say it's a gateway into the heart of New Harmony.

For two years that artery has been clogged.

"Its squeezing the life out of our rural communities."

Linda Henning, and other member of the 'Citizens For Reopening the Harmony Way Bridge,' say it's closing cuts off the community.

Next week the fate of the bridge could change.

On Tuesday the Posey County Commissioners will vote on whether or not they should have ownership of the bridge.

"We know that we have one commissioner that is for it, possibly another commissioner that is against, and maybe one that is on the fence," says Henning.

If they vote yes, the bridge would be eligible for federal funding . The passageway from Illinois to Indiana could soon be back up and running.

"I think it would be very, very positive if the Posey County Commissioners took over the bridge. I think we would support it to the ninth," says Sara Brown.

Brown owns a business in downtown New Harmony, but lives in Illinois.

"It used to take me twenty minutes to get home. Now, it takes me thirty," says Brown.

Brown says, if commissioners do not want to repair the bridge, there are other options.

"I think it should become a green-way. I think people should be able to walk across it, ride a bike across it, ride a golf cart across it. I think that there are other options than just tearing it down."

"It's been a long time. It's under a lot of distress. It needs a lot of money spent on it, but hopefully they can figure out a way to do it, and that federal or state dollars can do it, not county dollars. We can't afford it," says Donnie Mathews

Mathews says some are concerned about the possibility of a tax increase, if the commissioners fix the bridge.

"Its just like when they closed our school. It was a big emotional thing to us, but I understand business too," says Mathews.

On Tuesday the commissioners will vote at the Hovey House at 9 a.m.

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