The city says it's a high priority to replace the Eighth Street bridge.
We spoke with the principal engineer for the city who says they've taken a look at it and because of its age, it might be time for it to go.
Tom Berkland is the principal engineer for the city of Sioux Falls. He helps ensure the city keeps a close eye on its bridges.
"If there are any issues then we put it on the program to do some maintenance at the bridge. get it fixed up so it last longer and serves the people better," Berkland said.
The city inspects it's bridges every two years for wear and tear.
"A bridge like these, failing, you'd see the roadways sag, you'll see the bridge deck move a lot more or holes in the bridge deck. We were seeing that in the 41st Street bridge," Berkland said.
And while the 41st Street bridge was replaced for maintenance issues, the 49th Street bridge is another candidate for replacement.
"The standards that we use to build something like this, this is pretty deficient as far as the alignment. it just doesn't meet current standards and because of safety," Berkland said.
Berkland explained the 49th Street bridge has a design flaw which causes some serious safety issues.
"Wandering out of your lane, running into somebody in the next lane, would be probably the biggest thing. coming in and out of it and not expecting that sharp a curve," Berkland said.
The city wants to straighten out those issues but it could take some time.
"We used to get them replaced faster, now we put this bridge, the 49th street bridge, we've requested replacement funding for it. Hopefully within the next ten years we will get that funding," Berkland said.
Berkland hopes they can replace the Eighth Street bridge within seven years.
If you're wondering why it could take seven to ten years to replace these two bridges, he says there's too many bridges on the list needing replacement and not enough funds available.
Berkland tells us the Eighth Street bridge is not in danger of falling down anytime soon, but the cost of maintenance can outweigh the cost of building a new bridge.
Inspectors keep a checklist of bridges to make sure they're safe, getting properly maintained and lasting its full life span.
Sunday, April 20 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-04-21 02:30:09 GMT
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