Rating:
5 votes

New Harmony Bridge

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Photos 

Side view

Photo taken 2002 by Wayne Grodkiewicz

Map 

Street View 

Description 

A private company, the "Big Wabash Bridge Company of Carmi, Illinois" built the bridge as a toll bridge. A commission made up from the Indiana and Illinois counties involved took over the bridge in 1941. It was built for $535,796 but when it was taken over it had a debit of $945,000 according to a 1955 story from the Indianapolis News. There was a motion to clear the bridge of debt in July 1955 but tolls would still be collected to pay for $125,900 in repair costs. Since the commission is still collecting tolls I am assuming they still control the bridge.

Facts 

Overview
Four-span through truss toll bridge over Wabash River on IL 14 at New Harmony, Indiana
Location
Hew Harmony, Posey County, Indiana, and White County, Illinois
Status
Closed to traffic May 21, 2012
History
Built 1930, Ownership transferred to White County Bridge Commision in 1941.
Builders
- Big Wabash Bridge Co. of Carmi, Illinois (Toll Bridge Co.)
- Nashville Bridge Co. of Nashville, Tennessee
Design
Riveted, Parker through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 299.8 ft.
Total length: 2,578.4 ft. (0.5 mi.)
Deck width: 20.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 15.6 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 3, 2007
Also called
Harmony Way Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.13090, -87.94155   (decimal degrees)
38°07'51" N, 87°56'30" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/417481/4220757 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
New Harmony
Inventory numbers
INNBI 023305 (Indiana bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
NRHP 07001030 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 16884 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 04/2014)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Critical (2 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 2.0 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2003)
1,065

Update Log 

  • August 7, 2017: New photos from Jack Schmidt
  • March 25, 2017: New photos from Mike Daffron
  • July 10, 2014: New photo from Andrew Raker
  • March 9, 2013: Updated by Ed Hollowell: Change first owner/builder to Big Wabash Bridge Company of Carmi, Illinois
  • May 22, 2012: Updated by Kim Harvey: Bridge closed by IDOT on May 21 at 3 PM following results of a bridge inpsection
  • October 12, 2011: Photo imported by Ed Hollowell
  • October 7, 2010: New photo from James Baughn
  • August 17, 2010: Updated by Ed Hollowell: Added info from 1955 Indianapolis News article.
  • March 9, 2010: Updated by Robert Stephenson: Street view
  • March 7, 2010: Updated by Robert Stephenson: Added approach design
  • October 18, 2009: New photos from Kim Harvey
  • March 26, 2009: Updated by Robert Stephenson: Alternate Name, Builder and NRHP info
  • October 25, 2008: Updated by James McCray
  • May 20, 2008: Updated by Max Johnson
  • September 6, 2006: Posted photos from Wayne Grodkiewicz

Sources 

  • Wayne Grodkiewicz - WGrodkiewi [at] aol [dot] com
  • James McCray - jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Robert Stephenson - seinfeld99 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Kim Harvey
  • Ed Hollowell - erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com
  • James Baughn - webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com
  • Andrew Raker
  • Mike Daffron
  • Jack Schmidt - jjturtle [at] earthlink [dot] net

Comments 

New Harmony Bridge
Posted August 22, 2014, by TM (apmarino1966 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Posey County just recently agreed to take ownership of this bridge.

http://www.courierpress.com/news/local-news/southwest-indian...

This makes it possible for the County to apply for funding.

New Harmony Bridge
Posted November 13, 2013, by Dave Black (dblack [at] usi [dot] edu)

Here is a documentary of a history of the bridge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmfob9uZzQ4

New Harmony Bridge
Posted August 14, 2012, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com)

The Courier Press published the story of Indiana coming up with $10m for a replacement bridge. Illinois said they are broke.

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2012/aug/14/illinois-wont-o...

What am I missing here? Wouldn't $10M do a real good job of repairing the old bridge?

New Harmony Bridge
Posted May 22, 2012, by Kim Harvey

http://www.wsiltv.com/news/three-states/Board-votes-to-close...

The closure was pushed up to May 21 due to IDOT.

New Harmony Bridge
Posted May 21, 2012, by Kevin Talley (dweezletoe [at] hotmail [dot] com)

New Harmony Bridge will permanently close May 29th 2012. There is no money to fix it.

New Harmony Bridge
Posted January 3, 2012, by cindy birk conley (cbconly [at] midwest [dot] net)

Please visit http://www.in.gov/dnr/historic/files/harmonyway_bridge.pdf for the National Register application for the bridge. The bridge needs help! It needs to become owned by Illinois or Indiana, but neither state wants it. It needs a champion, or a campaign to make it state-owned. It does seem that the bridge was poorly administered over the years--in 1956 the bridge owned cameras and typewriters, and advertised in the Carmi newspaper, which was owned by one of the commissioners. It is the last bridge owned by a federally-chartered corporation. It's very bumpy but I will use it as long as I can.

New Harmony Bridge
Posted October 12, 2011, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com)

Something very wrong here! This bridge was nearly debt free in 1955 and yet they continued to collect tolls for 55 years and now it can't pay for repairs. I smell a rat! The county officials who were the administrators of the bridge company must have squandered a fortune on over priced and unnecessary work over the last 50 years and now the birds have come home to roost. Unfortunately most of the responsible people are likely deceased. Find the Indianapolis News story of 1955 and it will give a lot of background about this. In 14 years the entire debt was paid off but in 56 years since then the bridge in millions in the red????

New Harmony Bridge
Posted October 12, 2011, by Jim Grey (mobilene [at] gmail [dot] com)

Indiana Landmarks has become concerned about the bridge's state and questions about how the bridge is being administered. Article:

http://www.indianalandmarks.org/NewsPhotos/Pages/NewsFeature...

New Harmony Bridge
Posted August 17, 2010, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com)

If you want to find the Indianapolis News article it was from the May 30, 1955 edition "$635,000 Span Costs $3 Million" on page 15. I found it in a clippings file at the Indiana State Library and used a camera to take a photo. Almost posted it here but The Chicago Tribune bought the Indianapolis papers so they might consider it copyright infringement to post the whole article.

New Harmony Bridge
Posted February 20, 2010, by Todd (mrwalk08 [at] aol [dot] com)

If this bridge were to be rehabilitated, I'd like to see new approaches. In the looks of the one approach-way, kind of on spidery bents and such for me, a new stinger would dress it up. I see older bridges get new approaches in Pittsburgh. I think this bridge could still serve tolled traffic better if it got the same treatment.

New Harmony Bridge
Posted February 20, 2010, by Dave Black (dblack [at] usi [dot] edu)

The bridge was not opened in 1932 as listed here, the bridge was opened with a big dedication ceremony in Dec. 1930.

New Harmony Bridge
Posted January 9, 2010, by Mickey Lambert (highlandwolf64 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This bridge was rehabbed during the 1970's,cause I remember lanes being closed and flagmen when my dad and I took a bird dog to be trained in Owensboro,KY. So it has been rehabbed twice I know of.

New Harmony Bridge
Posted July 29, 2009, by Brian

Anyone know if bikes are allowed to cross the bridge?

New Harmony Bridge
Posted March 26, 2009, by Bill in Illinois

I live in Illinois and work in Indiana. I cross this bridge five days a week and it saves me 25 minutes each way. Me and my family depend on this bridge, especially when we need to take our children to the doctor or hospital.

New Harmony Bridge
Posted October 25, 2008, by Dave Black (dblack [at] usi [dot] wsu)

The "Facts" are very outdated.

This bridge was closed from September 2007 and re-opened in April 2008.

New Harmony Bridge
Posted May 19, 2008, by Jerry Harpe (jharpe24 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This bridge is open, as we drove across it last Saturday.

They still charge the $1 dollar toll. The road bed looked

to have been resurfaced, but then ground down level to the old road bed.

New Harmony Bridge
Posted September 26, 2007, by Donna (tue_loco [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This bridge closed "indefinitely" at 3:00pm on Tuesday, September 26, 2007.

New Harmony Bridge
Posted September 6, 2006, by Anonymous

Its open to traffic.