Sioux Falls eyeing two bridges for replacement - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Sioux Falls eyeing two bridges for replacement

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In Minnehaha County there more than 30 bridges needing repairs or replacement.

Assistant Highway Superintendent Tom Wilsey told us today his department has plans to fix nine bridges this year.

Two have contractors ready to start, they're just waiting on warmer weather.

Another bridge on that list, the Baltic bridge along Highway 114.

It's been closed since September.

Wilsey says next week, the highway department plans to ask the county commission for 1.5 million dollars to replace that bridge.

The other is on Eighth Street in central Sioux Falls..

Two of those bridges on the 2011 report were the 41st Street bridge and 49th.

But we spoke with the city's principal engineer who told us the 41st was replaced a few years ago, it's actually the Eighth Street and 49th Street bridges the city has it's eye on next.

The city says there's no need to worry the 49th Street bridge will collapse anytime soon.

It still has some years left in it's life span.

But a city engineer says it suffers from a safety design flaw.

In fact, he says the bridge, built in 1979, is structurally sound despite some cosmetic wear and tear.

It could be ten years before the 49th Street bridge gets it's problems straightened out.

Tom Berkland, Sioux Falls principal engineer said "the curve coming in and on the other side, they're very sharp curves. too sharp for the type of traffic, the amount of traffic, the speeds... we would like it to be a more gradual curve coming in and out."

Berkland tells us we'll probably see the Eighth Street bridge replaced first because it's a lot older.

Once the city gets money from the state department of transportation, it will have the green light to replace the bridge.

But Berkland thinks with the number of bridges on the list it could take seven years before any construction equipment shows up.


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