Thousands of people cross it every day, probably not giving it much thought. The old 8th Street bridge in downtown Sioux Falls has quite a history.
But the historic bridge also has a bit of mystery.
The old historic 8th Street Bridge spanning the Big Sioux River is not only the oldest bridge in Sioux Falls, but also the one with the most character.
"It's very nice. It's dated a little bit, but as you can tell some of the things have fallen off of it," Falls Landing owner Mike Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald owns Falls Landing, which is near the 8th Street Bridge. He says it's seen better days.
There are large cracks, rebar is showing and concrete is falling. Despite its age, the unique architectural design with three arches attracts a lot of visitors and photographers.
"We get a lot of pictures down here, you know, people coming down for photos, whether it be high school portraits or weddings or stuff like that. People are using that as a backdrop," Fitzgerald said.
Constructed in 1912, the bridge has undergone numerous repairs over the years and it is once again. The city is adding new light poles on top and will be adding new concrete underneath.
"The cement and concrete deteriorate with age and erosion," engineer Dick Sayre said.
Sayre knows a lot of history on the 8th Street Bridge.
In 1977, he made several repairs to it. But even this 77 year old is amazed by how well it was constructed over a hundred years ago and to this day is still serving a purpose in downtown Sioux Falls.
"There's some foresight in those fellows who designed it," Sayre said.
The bridge is so old, its history is a bit of a mystery, even to the old timers.
"Why, back in those days, was it 52 feet wide, which we think of it in normal days today. You think of structures 52 and 60 feet wide, but back in those days you think of something for Model T's or horse and wagon," Sayre said.
The only conclusion Sayre could come up with is that at one time, it might have been used not only for old cars and horses, but something else.
"We looked to see if there were trolley tracks and maybe that's why, but we didn't see evidence of it. Maybe there were trolley tracks, but 52 feet wide back then; you don't think of that, but now it's serving the traffic on 8th Street beautifully," Sayre said.
But it needs work. Public Works Director Mark Cotter says the city has hired a contractor to make the necessary repairs so it doesn't become a safety issue.
"We've got some concrete right now that's ruined and those can fracture off into smaller pieces and fall down. We don't want to create those safety issues," Cotter said.
But they will be temporary fixes to help extend the life of the bridge a bit longer. The city has plans to tear it down in five years and replace it. Cotter has been looking at preliminary designs of what the bridge should look like in the future.
"This is an element of our downtown when it's replaced, we expect it'll look very similar to what it was back in 1912, so we can maintain the character of this area," Cotter said.
An area that seems to be only getting better with time.
Construction of the new bridge will start in 2018 at an estimated cost of $2.5 million.