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Author Topic: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge  (Read 28057 times)

Captain Jack

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #50 on: July 13, 2016, 12:53:20 AM »

Side note. The last time I was across that bridge, there was still a dilapidated barn a few miles into Illinois with a faded "Meramec Caverns on US 66" ad painted on the side. Wonder if it is still standing?

Never understood how a private bridge continued along a federal highway. That bridge carried US 460 for many years.
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hbelkins

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #51 on: July 13, 2016, 04:05:24 PM »

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edwaleni

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #52 on: September 17, 2016, 05:37:56 PM »

I remember driving across this bridge as a child when our family went to New Harmony (way before I-64 existed).  I do remember my mom commenting on what a dilapidated bridge it was and us kids thought it was weird there was a toll bridge in the middle of nowhere.

My thoughts are that if this bridge was built in 1930, deemed structurally unsound by both INDOT and IDOT in 1955 (!!) and survived to take traffic with only marginal maintenance until 2008, it has done its job fairly well.  It only took over 100 years before the PD&E Bridge up river at Grayville collapsed during a flood. 

My guess is that scour will cause one of the cement pylons to settle and one of the spans will either topple or lean over.  And that will be the end of it.  I am surprised that hasn't occurred already with such low maintenance.
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Captain Jack

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #53 on: September 18, 2016, 12:29:06 PM »

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silverback1065

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #54 on: September 18, 2016, 10:33:34 PM »

I remember driving across this bridge as a child when our family went to New Harmony (way before I-64 existed).  I do remember my mom commenting on what a dilapidated bridge it was and us kids thought it was weird there was a toll bridge in the middle of nowhere.

My thoughts are that if this bridge was built in 1930, deemed structurally unsound by both INDOT and IDOT in 1955 (!!) and survived to take traffic with only marginal maintenance until 2008, it has done its job fairly well.  It only took over 100 years before the PD&E Bridge up river at Grayville collapsed during a flood. 

My guess is that scour will cause one of the cement pylons to settle and one of the spans will either topple or lean over.  And that will be the end of it.  I am surprised that hasn't occurred already with such low maintenance.

not to be an ass, but it's CONCRETE, cement is an ingredient. 
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edwaleni

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #55 on: September 23, 2016, 11:05:54 PM »

I remember driving across this bridge as a child when our family went to New Harmony (way before I-64 existed).  I do remember my mom commenting on what a dilapidated bridge it was and us kids thought it was weird there was a toll bridge in the middle of nowhere.

My thoughts are that if this bridge was built in 1930, deemed structurally unsound by both INDOT and IDOT in 1955 (!!) and survived to take traffic with only marginal maintenance until 2008, it has done its job fairly well.  It only took over 100 years before the PD&E Bridge up river at Grayville collapsed during a flood. 

My guess is that scour will cause one of the cement pylons to settle and one of the spans will either topple or lean over.  And that will be the end of it.  I am surprised that hasn't occurred already with such low maintenance.

not to be an ass, but it's CONCRETE, cement is an ingredient.

I would expect no less from someone posting in a blog on highways. :pan:
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Lyon Wonder

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #56 on: September 28, 2016, 07:08:49 PM »

IMO, the toll booth would likely be torn down anyway if the old bridge is ever rebuilt, along with demolishing the bridge's approaches and constructing new ones in their place.

That's what IDOT did when they rebuilt the McKinley bridge across the Mississippi River from St Louis.  Except for the bridge's 3 main truss spans, the approaches and deck were torn down and replaced.

Though considering the trend of completely replacing old bridges in IL, I wouldn't be surprised if the entire New Harmony span is torn down and replaced with a brand new mostly concrete bridge. That's if a new bridge is built at all considering that both IL and IN would have to cooperate with the planning and funding for a new bridge. 
« Last Edit: September 28, 2016, 07:11:03 PM by Lyon Wonder »
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2trailertrucker

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #57 on: September 29, 2016, 06:00:01 AM »

IMO, the toll booth would likely be torn down anyway if the old bridge is ever rebuilt, along with demolishing the bridge's approaches and constructing new ones in their place.

That's what IDOT did when they rebuilt the McKinley bridge across the Mississippi River from St Louis.  Except for the bridge's 3 main truss spans, the approaches and deck were torn down and replaced.

Though considering the trend of completely replacing old bridges in IL, I wouldn't be surprised if the entire New Harmony span is torn down and replaced with a brand new mostly concrete
bridge. That's if a new bridge is built at all considering that both IL and IN would have to cooperate with the planning and funding for a new bridge.

Back in the 1990's the Sullivan-Hutsonville Bridge was taken down and replaced with a concrete bridge. It too was a former toll bridge, but the toll booth had been removed years prior to it coming down.

https://bridgehunter.com/il/crawford/hutsonville/

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thefro

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #58 on: May 02, 2018, 08:27:44 PM »

https://www.harmonywaybridgeproject.com
https://revitalizationnews.com/article/45144/

Looks like there's a plan to turn it into a pedestrian bridge, possibly with 1 lane of vehicle traffic.

Also they got a law passed in Indiana creating a bridge authority, so the next step is to get ownership of the bridge transferred to that from the White County Bridge Commission and to figure out what Illinois' role is (if any) in the project.
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edwaleni

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #59 on: June 07, 2018, 12:51:10 AM »

If Indiana wants a bridge that badly, I would say build one to Ribeyre Island, which is still in Indiana, and connect it up to IL14 across the old channel which is more ditch today.

That bridge was built when there were still navigation requirements involved, but the Corps of Engineers turned those all over to the TVA for the Wabash south of Terre Haute before WW2.

The TVA has since retired all navigation on the lower  Wabash, so any new bridge wouldnt be any bigger than a single span of I-64.
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westerninterloper

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #60 on: June 11, 2018, 01:03:18 PM »

The documentary about the bridge was informative. The bridge does have an interesting history.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3344&v=mmfob9uZzQ4
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edwaleni

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #61 on: June 11, 2018, 03:38:35 PM »

IMO, the toll booth would likely be torn down anyway if the old bridge is ever rebuilt, along with demolishing the bridge's approaches and constructing new ones in their place.

That's what IDOT did when they rebuilt the McKinley bridge across the Mississippi River from St Louis.  Except for the bridge's 3 main truss spans, the approaches and deck were torn down and replaced.

Though considering the trend of completely replacing old bridges in IL, I wouldn't be surprised if the entire New Harmony span is torn down and replaced with a brand new mostly concrete
bridge. That's if a new bridge is built at all considering that both IL and IN would have to cooperate with the planning and funding for a new bridge.

Back in the 1990's the Sullivan-Hutsonville Bridge was taken down and replaced with a concrete bridge. It too was a former toll bridge, but the toll booth had been removed years prior to it coming down.

https://bridgehunter.com/il/crawford/hutsonville/

I remember crossing this bridge in 1968.

You could feel it shaking as you drove across.

The designer, Albert Steinman was reknown for coming up with low cost bridge designs in the 1930's due to the scarcity of contracts. But the bridge did hold up.

For those wondering why a suspension bridge on the Wabash? As noted before, the Wabash was a waterway for steamers at one time. Though I havent found any evidence a steamer ever came up after 1900.

The TVA closed the lower Wabash to commercial use just after WW2. The Corp of Engineers removed the dam at Mt Carmel which had made it navigible up to Terre Haute.

The former railroad bridge at Grayville which is visible from I-64, is actually a swing bridge. But I would guess it hasn't swung open in over 100 years. The channel moved west and caused the approach to collapse.

This is one reason so many older bridges over the Wabash had high elevations and their post WW2 replacements didnt.
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edwaleni

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #62 on: June 12, 2021, 03:21:41 PM »

Good news for the New Harmony Bridge.

Authority to the bridge has finally passed to 2 state based entities:

"New Harmony and Wabash River Bridge Authority" (Indiana) and the "Illinois New Harmony Bridge Authority" (Illinois).

Authority transfer had been held up due to various issues around the fact the bridge was tolled, but had a federally chartered entity running it.

Now that the federal charter has been formally dropped and 2 state entities have control, they met yesterday to align their interests and acquire new grants to initiate repairs.

The bridge has been closed for over 10 years. Officials say refurbishing the bridge would cost around twenty million dollars.

https://www.tristatehomepage.com/news/local-news/road-to-recovery-authorities-looking-to-pave-path-for-new-harmony-bridge/

While interesting to look at, it is no longer very functional other than for cars. Weight limits keep anything Class C or larger off of it.

The bridge could be simply replaced for less than $100 million, probably less than $80 million for the reasons below.

This current bridge was built when the Wabash was still under federal controls for bridge heights to maintain navigation capabilities. Rights that were turned over to the TVA and eventually dropped.

The dam was removed & locks decommissioned at Grand Rapids (Mt Carmel, Illinois) which then stopped all commerical traffic.

So the bridge clearance requirements are flood based only which will make it way more cheaper to replace.

I would hate to see the New Harmony people get into a similar fate as the Sullivan-Hutsonville bridge over the Wabash farther north.

INDOT got to the point that they were inspecting it twice a week before finally forcing it to be demolished. Even today INDOT gets pretty testy when people bring it up even though it been gone for 30 years.



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hbelkins

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #63 on: June 12, 2021, 11:01:41 PM »

There's really no need to open that bridge back up. I-64 is close enough to provide a suitable detour.
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Revive 755

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #64 on: June 12, 2021, 11:13:16 PM »

There's really no need to open that bridge back up. I-64 is close enough to provide a suitable detour.

I would rather have it as an alternative in case I-64 ends up closed due to an incident - it looks like a shorter detour route than the detour up through Mt. Carmel.
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hbelkins

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #65 on: June 13, 2021, 08:59:28 PM »

There's really no need to open that bridge back up. I-64 is close enough to provide a suitable detour.

I would rather have it as an alternative in case I-64 ends up closed due to an incident - it looks like a shorter detour route than the detour up through Mt. Carmel.

Sounds like they'd have to build a completely new bridge for it to be a suitable I-64 detour -- i.e., carry truck traffic.
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edwaleni

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #66 on: June 13, 2021, 10:38:00 PM »

FWIW: The I-64 bridges over the Wabash are slated for a complete replacement. It is suffering from the same issues the railroad bridge next to it did. Sinking piers.

In 2013, INDOT and IDOT put it on their bridge watch list and is currently awaiting funding.

Here is the report from the last inspection done for the New Harmony bridge. (2014)

Good/Fair/Poor Condition:   Poor
Status:   Bridge closed to all traffic [K]
Average daily traffic:   1,065 [as of 2003]
Truck traffic:   2% of total traffic
Deck condition:   Fair [5 out of 9]
Superstructure condition:   Serious [3 out of 9]
Substructure condition:   Critical [2 out of 9]
Underclearances appraisal:   Superior to present desirable criteria [9]
Water adequacy appraisal:   Basically intolerable requiring high priority of replacement [2]
Roadway alignment appraisal:   Basically intolerable requiring high priority of replacement [2]
Channel protection:   Bank protection is being eroded. River control devices and/or embankment have major damage. Trees and rush restrict the channel. [5]
Scour condition:   Bridge is scour critical; field review indicates that extensive scour has occurred at bridge foundations. [2]
Sufficiency rating:   2.0

I would imagine most of that $25 million would go to shore up the piers in the river, fix the embankments for erosion and replace joints that have rusted out.

Again, I think the bridge should just be replaced and they should do it prior to the I-64 bridge replacement.

The requirements that drove the current design and layout just don't exist anymore.
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EngineerTM

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #67 on: June 18, 2021, 01:18:27 PM »

This bridge was posted to the National Register of Historic Places back in 2007; it would take an act of God to get this bridge removed and replaced.  In fact, I've had dealings with the Section 106 historical mitigation process and don't think that even God could get this bridge removed and replaced.  It is really in very poor physical and structural condition.  It's going to take a lot of money (far more than it's worth IMO) to even return this bridge to a minimal service level for passenger vehicles and light truck traffic.

No reasonable person should assume that this bridge could ever, ever serve as a replacement for the I-64 bridges.  Just trying to divert all that traffic through the town of New Harmony alone would be unsustainable for any extended period of time.

edwaleni was correct in the earlier post regarding the transfer of ownership.  However, this ownership is only to these two private authorities.  To my knowledge, neither INDOT nor IDOT have stepped forward to take the overall lead over responsibility for future inspections or maintenance.  In fact, INDOT specifically shut down State Route 66 at the bridge and has no intention at present to extend it over this bridge.  Furthermore on the Illinois side, IDOT completely shut down and barricaded the nearest three bridges on State Road 14 approaching this bridge, effectively shutting down that segment of that state route.

IMO, it's going to be a long, long time before this bridge is ever re-opened.  At best, I think this might get opened to pedestrian and bicycle use.
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abqtraveler

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #68 on: June 18, 2021, 04:39:27 PM »

This bridge was posted to the National Register of Historic Places back in 2007; it would take an act of God to get this bridge removed and replaced.  In fact, I've had dealings with the Section 106 historical mitigation process and don't think that even God could get this bridge removed and replaced.  It is really in very poor physical and structural condition.  It's going to take a lot of money (far more than it's worth IMO) to even return this bridge to a minimal service level for passenger vehicles and light truck traffic.

No reasonable person should assume that this bridge could ever, ever serve as a replacement for the I-64 bridges.  Just trying to divert all that traffic through the town of New Harmony alone would be unsustainable for any extended period of time.

edwaleni was correct in the earlier post regarding the transfer of ownership.  However, this ownership is only to these two private authorities.  To my knowledge, neither INDOT nor IDOT have stepped forward to take the overall lead over responsibility for future inspections or maintenance.  In fact, INDOT specifically shut down State Route 66 at the bridge and has no intention at present to extend it over this bridge.  Furthermore on the Illinois side, IDOT completely shut down and barricaded the nearest three bridges on State Road 14 approaching this bridge, effectively shutting down that segment of that state route.

IMO, it's going to be a long, long time before this bridge is ever re-opened.  At best, I think this might get opened to pedestrian and bicycle use.

If structural deterioration of the New Harmony Bridge gets to the point where it is immediate danger of collapse, someone will demolish it regardless of its historical status, as it will become an emergency situation and the rules for historical preservation go out the window at that point.   
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Rick Powell

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #69 on: June 18, 2021, 04:53:18 PM »

If structural deterioration of the New Harmony Bridge gets to the point where it is immediate danger of collapse, someone will demolish it regardless of its historical status, as it will become an emergency situation and the rules for historical preservation go out the window at that point.   
True, I have removed two bridges eligible for the National Register in my career, one of them was even on Old Route 66 and had elevated significance. After advertising it for a responsible party to assume ownership and relocate it, if there are no takers, a photographer from Omaha will come out and take dozens of pictures for the National Archive, and then the contractor will remove it and sell it for scrap. The one complication here is that neither INDOT nor IDOT, who are experts in the process of removing historically significant bridges, has ownership. Also, there is no imminent danger to river navigation because (IIRC) barges don't go this far up the Wabash.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2021, 04:57:35 PM by Rick Powell »
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hbelkins

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #70 on: June 18, 2021, 05:21:59 PM »

If structural deterioration of the New Harmony Bridge gets to the point where it is immediate danger of collapse, someone will demolish it regardless of its historical status, as it will become an emergency situation and the rules for historical preservation go out the window at that point.   
True, I have removed two bridges eligible for the National Register in my career, one of them was even on Old Route 66 and had elevated significance. After advertising it for a responsible party to assume ownership and relocate it, if there are no takers, a photographer from Omaha will come out and take dozens of pictures for the National Archive, and then the contractor will remove it and sell it for scrap. The one complication here is that neither INDOT nor IDOT, who are experts in the process of removing historically significant bridges, has ownership. Also, there is no imminent danger to river navigation because (IIRC) barges don't go this far up the Wabash.

We've done the historic bridge giveaway attempt several times over the years, with no success. Until possibly this year. We may have found a taker for this bridge.


https://lnks.gd/2/NRqH-r

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silverback1065

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #71 on: June 19, 2021, 01:03:52 AM »

no one would ever use this as an alternative to 64
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hbelkins

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #72 on: June 19, 2021, 09:57:38 PM »

no one would ever use this as an alternative to 64

They would if 64 was closed or there were lengthy delays.
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silverback1065

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #73 on: June 20, 2021, 01:09:26 AM »

SR 64 and 62 are better.
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edwaleni

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Re: IN-IL: New Harmony Bridge
« Reply #74 on: June 20, 2021, 11:49:13 PM »

Thanks to some links sent to me I did some historical research on this bridge.

There have been several bills in the Indiana Legislature to fund the remediation of this bridge or to buy it outright since the 1960's.

Many of those bills never got out of committee, but the few that did and actually got onto the floor were always blocked by a political contingent led by Indianapolis.

When SW Indiana legislators would get a infrastructure bill on the floor, anything that included the New Harmony Bridge was immediately blocked.

Because of this and all of the delays in getting a better highway built between Indy and Evansville, it has fostered this posture by those who live in the area that there is some kind of grudge against economic development in SW Indiana.

Yes, they got the Toyota plant in Princeton, but it took this herculean effort by Mitch Daniels to "get it done" on I-69. There were people still trying to block it way back when.

This and New Harmony just sends a vibe that people in the area just don't get the same level of importance to the greater whole of Indiana.

IDOT who now owns the "Cannonball Bridge" between St Francisville and Indiana, gets immediate cooperation from Indiana when looking at a replacement to that 1 lane former railroad bridge.

But when it comes to the New Harmony Bridge, Indiana doesn't want to have anything to do with it legislatively. It's an interesting irony.
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