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Minnehaha County Bridge Repairs Needed, Scheduled

April 23, 2014, 6:05 PM by Don Jorgensen

Minnehaha County Bridge Repairs Needed, Scheduled

Half of South Dakota's county, township and city bridges are 50 years or older.  One in four is at least 75 years old.

Tuesday, South Dakota lawmakers responded. The legislature's executive board unanimously approved a summer study on the state's roads and bridges, which could lead to some much needed legislation.

A bridge on County Road 121 north of Sioux Falls has seen its better days.  Broken concrete and twisted rebar are just a few reasons why it's closed to traffic and scheduled to be replaced.

Another aging bridge just down the road is already being demolished.

Now that both bridges are closed for the summer, it'll mean a long summer and long commute for those working at EROS Data Center.

"There's about 600 staff that commute to work from the Sioux Falls and surrounding areas everyday.  That's maybe 300 vehicles in the morning, 300 vehicles at night.  With the detour of the bridge construction that means there's a detour posted.  That puts about 10 miles for the commute, extra," Tom Holm said.

Bridges that are scheduled to be replaced are posted with weight limit signs, something the workers at EROS have had to deal with as well.  But once it's finished, they know it'll be nice.

"The bridges under repair, you couldn't really tell going across them there was a weight limit.  We're anxious to get that weight limit removed so that we don't have to have detours because it sounds like it's going to last for the summer," Holm said.

There are dozens of other dilapidated bridges in the county just like this one and eventually, they'll be repaired.

Of the 200 bridges in Minnehaha County, 45 are listed as structurally deficient.  Of those, seven are structurally obsolete.

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