The Archway monument in Kearney has filed for bankruptcy protection.
After opening their doors in 2000, the Archway has struggled to make a profit. After 13 years of being the landmark many people drive under as they travel along Interstate 80, the future of the central Nebraska structure looks bleak.
President of the Great Platte River Memorial Foundation Joel Johnson says bottom line, they over estimated the number of people stopping and visiting the archway. "What we have found is since then there just has been no way that the traffic through the archway where the number of people could generate enough money to keep the place open."
When the structure was first built there was about $60 million worth of bonds. Since restructuring in 2003, that number has dropped to $20 million. But Johnson says there's virtually been no payment since. So now the archway has filed chapter 11 bankruptcy in hopes to reduce the bond debt.
"The Archway is a wonderful tool to educate all of us and it needs to be kept open and functioning and that's our goal and we're optimistic that's going to happen," said Johnson.
A judge and the bondholders will determine how this will all play out. It should be 60 to 90 days before a final decision comes out.
Why is this happening right now? That $20 million is due this year. The foundation hopes that filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection will give them some time.