The South Dakota Transportation Commission recently approved a $49.99 million plan to replace the Pierre-Fort Pierre Missouri River Bridge – an effort that’s been in the works for two decades – to improve freight shipment efficiency and improve overall travel safety.
[Above graphic of new bridge design via the South Dakota DOT.]
“Replacing the Missouri River Bridge at this location has been in the planning stages for the better part of 20 years,” explained Darin Bergquist, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Transportation, in a statement.
“A project of this magnitude takes tremendous resources and cooperation from several entities,” he said.
The existing John C. Waldron Memorial Bridge carries U.S. Highways 14 and 83, as well as S.D. Highway 34 over the Missouri River between Fort Pierre and Pierre.
This project will replace the current bridge – built in 1962 – that connects east and west river South Dakota near the center of the state. Construction will take place over the next three years with completion expected in late 2023.
The South Dakota DOT said the project first entails building a new bridge to the northwest of the current bridge, then removing the current bridge once traffic moves to the new structure.
For about the first year, work will occur mostly in the water as special work crews build the foundations and substructure supporting the new span – which will retain the John C. Waldron Memorial Bridge name.