Reps. Bucshon and Shimkus, and Senators Braun, Young, Duckworth, and Durbin Introduce the Restore the Harmony Way Bridge Act
U.S. Representatives Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN) and John Shimkus (R-IL) with Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Todd Young (R-IN), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the Restore the Harmony Way Bridge Act (H.R. 3245)( S. 1833), a bill that the House of Representatives passed by unanimous consent in the 115th Congress.
"I am optimistic that this legislation will pass both chambers of Congress and finally breath life back into the New Harmony Bridge that extends from Indiana to Illinois across the Wabash River," said Dr. Bucshon. "The Restore the Harmony Way Bridge Act will convey the Harmony Way Bridge to both the Indiana and Illinois Bridge Authorities -- allowing the states to have management over the Harmony Way Bridge and write the next chapter for this historic bridge."
"Conveying the New Harmony Bridge to Illinois and Indiana Bridge Authorities is the best way to preserve and restore this local treasure," said Rep. Shimkus. "I appreciate the strong support this effort has received from my friends on both sides of the Wabash River."
"The Harmony Way Bridge is one of southern Indiana's lost treasures, and I'm proud to pitch in to the great work Representatives Bucshon and Shimkus have done on both sides of the Wabash to help get this piece of Hoosier history back up and running." Senator Mike Braun
"I'm proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan, bicameral legislation which will grant certainty to the New Harmony community," said Senator Young. "Passage of this bill would allow Posey county, along with its neighboring communities, to dictate the future of this important, historic landmark."
"Investing in Illinois's infrastructure is one of my top priorities in the U.S. Senate," said Senator Duckworth. "I'm glad to join my colleagues in helping introduce this bipartisan legislation to eliminate red-tape, jumpstart repairs to restore the Harmony Way Bridge and build upon the important connection between our states."
"Giving local bridge authorities responsibility over the historic New Harmony Bridge will help restore and preserve it for generations of Hoosiers and Illinoisans to come," Senator Durbin said. "Proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bill today."
The Harmony Way Bridge was an engineering marvel that was built in 1930. The size of the Parker truss spans made it the largest of its kind in Indiana. It was permanently closed in 2012 due to structural integrity issues. The federal law that led to the bridge's construction has also prevented it from being refurbished and reopened by the states of Indiana and Illinois. The Restore the Harmony Way Bridge Act will convey the bridge to the New Harmony River Bridge Authority (Illinois Bridge Authority) and the New Harmony and Wabash River Bridge Authority (Indiana Bridge Authority) and repeal the 1941 federal statute, removing the conditions set out on the bridge. The Restore the Harmony Way Bridge Act was cosponsored in the House by every member of the Indiana and Illinois delegations.