SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A major construction project is about to get underway in downtown Sioux Falls.

Come next week crews will start the process of replacing the 6th Street Bridge over the Big Sioux River.

The 6th Street Bridge dates back to the 1970s, but its time is coming to an end.

“Our latest inspection said we shouldn’t put any additional money into it because it’s just reaching the end of its useful life,” Project manager Wes Philips said.

On Monday, 6th street will close from Phillips to Weber Avenue as crews prepare to demolish the bridge and build a new one.

The new “Unity Bridge” will be about the same width as the current one, but better for people walking downtown.

“What we’re doing is reclaiming a lot of that extra width for vehicles for pedestrians, so the pedestrian areas will get significantly larger,” Philips said.

Project manager Wes Phillips says the project will also complement other developments in the area, including the Cherapa complex.

The four new structures under construction now will feature office and retail space, apartments, condos, and parking.

“We’re doing an awful lot here at Cherapa of building really high quality buildings, we’ve got courtyards, we’re tying into the riverfront, and etcetera, so what this will do is modernize this bridge, it will improve it from a traffic standpoint because we can see that people will park in our large parking ramp in the evenings, and weekends and go to the Levitt,” Cherapa compelx developer Jeff Scherschligt said.

The Unity Bridge project also includes an update to underground utilities.

“It will be a very challenging project, but we’re excited to get started,” Philips said.

Unity bridge is estimated to be complete in July of 2024.

During construction, traffic will be detoured to 8th Street.

The project will also close the bike trail from Eighth Street to the Falls Park entrance on Weber Avenue.