HARMONY WAY BRIDGE PROJECT
Restore & Repurpose
Community members from Indiana and Illinois and generous local donors have partnered under a volunteer management structure, to restore and re-purpose the Harmony Way Bridge. Making this Wabash River landmark a pedestrian-friendly attraction was among the Southwest Indiana Regional Cities Initiative's chosen projects.
WHY YOU ASK?
-The bridge has been closed since 2012 and there is currently no other plan on the table for its future.
-It was built in 1930 and named on the National Register of Historic Places.
-It is a significant regional landmark.
-It is an important artery for commerce, traffic, and connection to Southern Illinois.
THE HIGH COST OF INACTION
-The bridge has been closed since 2012 and there is no other plan on the table for its future.
-The bridge carries New Harmony's gas line. If the bridge is not repaired, the town of 800 will incur the estimated cost of $1-$2 million dollars for relocating the gas line.
-Funding will be required in the near future, even if the bridge is not re-opened: either to disassemble and remove it before it collapses or to mitigate safety and environmental issues when the bridge eventually falls into the river.
•The emotional toll on the community of watching this landmark structure deteriorate is significant.
CREATE A NEW REGIONAL DESTINATION
•Harmony Way Bridge presents a unique opportunity to create a new regional tourism destination like the Big 4 Bridge in Louisville and the High Line in New York. These bridge-repurposing projects have made huge economic and quality-of-life impacts on their communities.
•An example: In Louisville’s Waterfront Development District has attracted $1.34 Billion dollars in development, and jobs have grown from 400 too 6,689.*
*(source: Economic Impact Report for WCD Louisville.)
-The bridge is a vital gateway for commerce in Indiana and Illinois
-The project has momentum and funding through its connection to the Regional Cities Initiative
-This plan supports residential and business retention in New Harmony by ensuring affordable access to natural gas.