Members of the New Harmony and Wabash River Bridge Authority and the Illinois New Harmony Bridge Authority met in Carmi Friday to discuss their plan to request federal grant money from the Department of Transportation.
Officials say closing the bridge still poses logistical and economic challenges for the communities on either side of the bridge. Rodney Clark says commute times were increased for anyone commuting from Illinois to Evansville and hampered emergency services who either have to cross the state line in Mt. Vernon or on I-64.
People in New Harmony have their own hopes for the bridge. Marc Chevalier can see the closed bridge from his lawn, he says he hopes the bridge will offer a pedestrian lane of traffic so families like his own can watch sunsets and the nearby scenery. Chevalier also proposed setting up booths so local vendors can sell goods.
The deadline to apply for the grant comes in July and officials hope to hear a response by their next meeting, coming up in September.