A familiar and well-traveled bridge in Sioux Falls will be closed next year. Dena Knutson, civil engineer with the City of Sioux Falls, tells KELOLAND News that the 8th St. bridge downtown is going to be closed for construction from spring 2020 to fall 2020. Queen City Bakery co-owner Mitch Jackson says the 8th St. bridge located just steps away from his business needs attention. But he’s clearly a fan of the bridge.
“I think the bridge needs some work, I would like it saved, the aesthetics saved,” Jackson said. “I think it fits really, really well- it’s a cool visual addition to downtown, especially with the bike trail going right underneath it.”
The construction, Knutson says, won’t mean huge changes to the bridge’s look.
“It’ll look very similar to what it is today,” Knutson said. “We’re keeping that old look, so it’s not going to get a fancy new look; it’ll keep an old look.”
She says the bridge is safe.
“What we’ll be doing is we’ll be rehabilitating it, which means that the, most of the structure will stay in place,” Knutson said. “We’ll be removing the surface, so the road that people drive on, and inside the bridge, since it’s so old, it’s over 100 years old, it has kind of a unique inside to it, it is not full of concrete, it’s actually full of a granular material. We’ll be removing that, and then we’ll doing be doing some concrete repairs, both inside of the bridge then and underneath, and then we’ll put new fill in it, and put the new surface.”
The reason, she explains, is time.
“The bridge is old,” Knutson said. “It has had some facelifts in the past, but really nothing that’s really gotten into the deep concrete, and this would be that deep concrete fix.”
Jackson says a long construction project is a negative influence on nearby business.
“I can see how if it takes an extraordinary amount of time that it’s going to inhibit business growth and business in general along 8th Street,” Jackson said.
Also, it’s not just the bridge that is set to receive attention.
“We’ll be also doing some Greenway improvements with this, so that’ll be a nice improvement, and we’ll also be improving this west side of the bridge as well,” Knutson said. “We’ll also be doing some other concrete repairs and such on 8th Street.”
On Tuesday night at City Center from 5 to 6 there is an open house on this project.
Did you know that the 8th Street Bridge was built in 1912 for only $40,000? Well, it's finally time for an upgrade! Come to our open house on November 19th, 5-6pm at the City Center for more information on the 8th Street Bridge project starting in 2020. pic.twitter.com/iOyG3tWDdi— City of Sioux Falls (@CitySiouxFalls) November 15, 2019