Lawrence, Meade, Butte counties to get bridge funds

This bridge over Whitetail Road in Meade County is slated to be replaced thanks to federal bridge replacement funds.  Courtesy photo

NORTHERN HILLS — Bridges in Lawrence, Meade and Butte counties are among 49 projects in the state slated to receive federal bridge replacement funds.

South Dakota and 18 other states were awarded one-time federal funds in February to be used for the replacement or rehabilitation of bridges listed in poor condition. South Dakota’s share of the funds was about $33.8 million.

The bridge to be replaced in Lawrence County is just west of Elmore Road over Spearfish Creek which is west of Highway 14A. The estimated cost is $430,000.

The bridges in Meade County are on Whitetail Road about seven miles north of Marcus which will cost an estimated $550,000, and on Pine Creek Road about five miles south of Opal which will cost about $462,000.

Butte County will receive funding on three bridges. Two are located northeast of Newell on old Highway 212, one over Sulfur Creek estimated to cost $445,000 and a second over Mud Elm Creek estimated to cost $430,000. The third is northeast of Belle Fourche on old Highway 85 over Indian Creek estimated to cost $1.3 million.

The projects require an 18.05% local match. But, during the 2020 Legislative session, approximately $4 million was appropriated to help offset the local match resulting in approximately 5%-6% share for the selected local governments.

The funds must be obligated by Sept. 30, 2023.

To qualify for the program, South Dakota had to have at least 5% of its total deck area of bridges classified as in poor condition based on the National Bridge Inventory as of Dec. 31, 2018.

Overall South Dakota has approximately 19,338,669 square feet of deck area with approximately 1,857,344 square feet considered to be in poor condition for a total of 9.61%  Doug Kinniburgh, local government assistant with the South Dakota Department of Transportation, said there were 113 applications for the bridge money, totaling $79.9 million in total project costs. Seven cities submitted eight applications and 37 counties submitted 105 applications.

Kinniburgh said the state has about 970 bridges with most locations inspected every two years.

“The rest of the system is getting to such an age that we will have more of them falling into the poor category in the coming years,” he said.

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