Baltic celebrates bridge re-opening - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Baltic celebrates bridge re-opening

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July 4th was nearly two weeks ago, but there was reason to celebrate with more fireworks tonight in Baltic.

A main commuting route for the town is open after being closed for many months.

Imagine having to go nearly ten miles out of your way to go to work every morning for ten months.  That's exactly what some people who live in Baltic have had to do since last September.

So the re-opening of the Baltic Bridge was certainly cause for celebration.

Baltic mayor Mike Wendland announced the ribbon cutting ceremony: "6:05pm on Tuesday, July 16th, I will officially call the Baltic Bridge reopened." 

After ten long months, Wendland says it was the moment people in Baltic were waiting for.

"This is a fantastic day for the city of Baltic, for the citizens of Baltic. We've been waiting for this honestly since the day it was closed, back September 11th , 2012," Wendland said.

Reconstruction began last year after engineers believed the bridge needed replacing.

"It was deemed it was defective and needed to be replaced. They looked at the flooding that does go on with the Big Sioux River here. It has flooded to the west and the bridge has been in danger," Wendland said.

It was like a block party. People in Baltic lined up to grab at bite and take a look at their new bridge. But for Baltic businesses or commuters, the last ten months was nothing to celebrate.

"It's been a major inconvenience. For obviously a major thoroughfare, in and out of Baltic. Not only for the citizens that go to work and come and go via this bridge but also for our emergency services," Wendland said.

Whether you're on four wheels or two feet, this bridge has something new the old bridge didn't, a sidewalk.

"With all of the kids that go down to our park for baseball and things like that the sidewalk will be a great addition and safety for our kids," Wendland said.

It cost about one million dollars to replace the old bridge.

And now that it's open, people in Baltic will have a direct route to and from Interstate 29.

Baltic mayor Mike Wendland thanked everyone for being patient but says with this new bridge, the wait was worth it.

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