The way people get across the New Harmony bridge could soon change. It’s been closed for years but it could reopen soon with a new purpose.
Members of the Posey County Alliance met to talk about the future of that bridge and what they may do with the structure if it ever reopens.
Many people want to preserve the history of the bridge and many want to see it back open. Some local officials say their goal is to transform it into a regional tourism destination but there is still no set time line for full restoration. Lora Arneberg, “So we’re trying to get the legislation to create the new bridge authority as a new ownership entity this session and if we can do that then we’ll have to transfer the ownership from the White County bridge commission to the new authority at the federal level.” and
Which will be an expensive project with repairs alone costing $400,000. Arneberg estimates moving the gas line will also cost between 1 to 2 million dollars if the bridge is not repaired. She explains, “Up to now the project has been one hundred percent philanthropic and our estimate is that it’s going to finish that way as well. So we’ve done the engineering studies, the legal work and all of the design so far philanthropically and we plan to do the last of the fund raising of the repairs philanthropically as well”
Arneberg says she envisions various uses for the bridge once it’s back open. She says,”Our plan for it would be to make it a stand alone entity at that point. So event rentals, use fees, fund raising events, concerts, wine tastings, races, hammock festivals you know there’s all these great possibilities for how to use it.”
A new website for the New Harmony bridge project will be launched next week. Anyone could make donations or check out plans mapped out for the bridge.