4 local entities receive bridge replacement and removal funds

This city of Spearfish bridge, just west of the Highway 85/Colorado Boulevard junction has received an estimated $750,000 in replacement costs. Pioneer photo by Jaci Conrad Pearson

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NORTHERN HILLS — In addition to state Bridge Improvement Grant (BIG) dollars, four Northern Hills entities have received federal funding to help offset costs on either replacement or removal of five local bridges.

“These are separate funding than the Bridge Improvement Grant (BIG) funds,” said South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) Local Government Engineer Doug Kinniburgh. “BIG funding is established in state statute and is funded from $7 Million per year from license plate fees and $8 million from the SD Transportation Commission discretionary funds. The funding for this particular announcement is one time — for the third year now — funding that Congress has provided through their annual appropriations bill.”

To that end, Thursday, the South Dakota Transportation Commission awarded the funds as part of 31 local bridge replacement projects totaling approximately $20 million and 11 local bridge removal projects, totaling approximately $1.5 million.

Local bridge replacement award recipients are Lawrence County, city of Spearfish, and two structures in Butte County.

“Lawrence County was awarded federal funds to cover 81.95% of actual costs to replace the bridge 2.5 miles southeast of Whitewood on the service road,” said Kinniburgh.

Lawrence County estimated total costs are $730,000.

Butte County was awarded federal funding to cover costs on two separate structures.

“The first one is a bridge northwest of Newell on Orman Road in which the county had previously been awarded a federal grant which was part of a bundled application that they jointly applied with Lawrence County and Meade County for a total of four bridges,” Kinniburgh said. “The federal grant was not able to cover the total application request and since that time, both Lawrence and Meade (counties) were successful in obtaining Bridge Improvement Grants to help with the shortfall in funding. This new award will provide the ability to fund this location to 81.95% of the replacement costs.”

The Butte Orman Road shortfall from the previous award was $405,000. The total estimate is $775,000.

The Butte Viken Road total is estimated to be $1.3 million.

The second bridge in Butte County is southwest of Newell on Viken Road and it, too, will provide 81.95% funding for replacement.

The bridge in Spearfish is just west of the junction of US85/Colorado Blvd. Estimated total costs are $750,000.

Overall, 107 bridge replacement applications submitted by four cities and 37 counties, totaling $95.7 million in total project costs, were received by the DOT.

Additionally, two cities and seven counties submitted 11 bridge removal applications.

Locally, the city of Whitewood was a bridge removal project award recipient.

“The city of Whitewood was successful in receiving federal funding to cover 81.95% costs for permanent removal of the bridge over the railroad on the service road,” Kinniburgh said.

The Whitewood estimated total costs are $400,000.

“In all cases, it does require an 18.05% local match to participate in the program,” Kinniburgh said.

In March, the transportation commission allocated approximately $3.3 million to help offset the local match, resulting in approximately a 5-6% share for the local governments selected.

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