Feds will bear most of the expense for replacing or removing 46 of South Dakota’s bridges

Capitol News Bureau
KELO South Dakota Department of Transportation SDDOT logo

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — For the latest round of available federal funding, the South Dakota Department of Transportation received 107 applications for bridges that need replacement. The estimated costs totaled more than $95 million.

The state Transportation Commission however had roughly one-fifth of that amount — about $19.5 million — from the federal government to spread around. So the commission on Thursday chose the 31 projects that scored highest on a needs test.

The commission also funded all 11 bridges that local governments want to remove but won’t replace. They’ll share $1.5 million of federal aid.

The commission also earmarked $1.65 million from the feds for work on four state Game, Fish and Parks Department bridges.

The arrangement calls for federal grants to cover 81.95% and local sponsors to pay the rest on the 46.

This was the second year of what’s known as the ‘Local Federal Bridge Replacement and Removal; program. SDDOT administrator Tammy Williams was asked whether the money will be there again next year.

“These are one-year allocations,” she said.

Then she added, “We’re programming for it though.”

Williams said the department’s plan has $34 million on that line each year for the next four.

“Hope money,” commissioner Mike Vehle of Mitchell said.

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