Engineers fear the bridge will collapse. Officials say a long list of structural damages and a lack of funding for repairs left them no choice but to shut down the bridge more than a week ahead of schedule.It's a move that left dozens of people who regularly travel over the bridge on an unplanned detour. Monday afternoon drivers trying to cross the toll bridge were met by Indiana State troopers and barricades.
"To close it just all at once like this is, you know, sort of put people in a bad spot," says Carmi resident Terry Baker. Baker works in construction in Indiana and uses the toll bridge daily. He says the detour will be an inconvenience he'll have to face five days a week.
New Harmony resident James Westfall says the sudden bridge closure made his wife late for an appointment on the Illinois side of the bridge. "This was supposed to happen on the 29th. I mean, we still don't like it happening but nobody told us," says Westfall. Westfall says he fears the bridge closure will have a negative impact on New Harmony businesses.
The New Harmony Bridge is closed indefinitely. It's unknown if the bridge will ever receive repairs.