updated: 8/15/2012 7:50:09 AM
The Illinois Department of Transportation says declining state revenues mean it will not be able to help pay for construction of a new bridge connecting New Harmony to White County, Illinois. The existing New Harmony Bridge was closed in May after being found structurally unsound.
August 14, 2012
Statehouse -- State Sen. Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville) received a letter today from Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Secretary Ann L. Schneider respectfully declining any participation in funding the New Harmony Bridge project.
“The department understands and appreciates the concerns of our citizens, the Indiana Department of Transportation and our respective state and federal legislative leaders following the May 2012 closure of the existing but structurally unsound New Harmony Bridge,” Schneider writes. “However, Illinois has experienced declining state and federal revenues similar to many other states… IDOT has to respectfully decline the proposal to financially participate in the construction of a new bridge over the Wabash River for the purpose of connecting New Harmony, Indiana to White County, Illinois.”
In addition to the struggling economy, Schneider cites transportation funding sources not keeping pace with road construction needs and that travelling between the two places “could feasibly be met by other Wabash River bridges” as reasons for declining financial participation.
Tomes said efforts to fund the project will continue, as all possible options are still being explored.
“I want to keep everyone in our area informed of the latest news regarding New Harmony’s bridge,” Tomes said. “As a local legislator, this is a top issue for me. I know how important the bridge is to the vitality of our community and will continue to join other area officials in exploring all options.”
Source: Office of Indiana State Senator Jim Tomes