...The Harmony Way Bridge Committee began meeting this summer to work on proposals for the 83-year-old New Harmony Bridge.
The span was operated for decades by a private commission as a toll bridge until inspections last year found extensive deterioration, prompting its closure in May 2012. Indiana officials have said replacement costs could be as much as $25 million.
Businesses in both Indiana and Illinois have been hurt by the bridge's closure, committee member Linda Henning of Crossville, Ill., told the Evansville Courier & Press.
The group is looking at having the city buy the bridge and issue bonds which would be covered by bridge tolls.
One thing that could help is if Illinois extended a spur from the Ohio River National Scenic Byway from New Haven (where the current byway crosses into Illinois, up through White County to the New Harmony bridge. Indiana already has a spur of the byway leading to the tourist town.
The move could generate some additional traffic as well as give the bridge some additional points when it comes to grants.