Pierre-Fort Pierre Bridge Project

Photo of road construction warning light.

The westbound outside lane and the eastbound inside lane over the Pierre-Fort Pierre Bridge are currently closed, resulting in one lane of traffic in both directions. The traffic control will help keep the traveling public safe while construction crews transport the necessary materials for the next phase of the bridge construction project.

Project Update

Sept. 15, 2022: The week of Sept. 5, 2022, crews stripped the cap form at bent two, which is the first of the six caps to be completed. Crews removed the forms for both capitals at bent seven, and on Sept. 14, 2022, placed the formwork for the cap to connect the two capitals at bent seven. Crews will also be setting forms to construct the next two capitals at bent six. Once completed, the six bridge bents will make up the substructure of the new bridge, which will support the superstructure and distribute bridge load to the underground shaft foundation.

Crews have been continuing foundation preparation and excavation behind the Pierre-side abutment for the mechanically stabilizing earth (MSE) retaining walls. Workers will be laying drain tubes for storm sewer drainage and installing two manholes—a 96-inch and 48-inch manhole. Later this month, work is scheduled to shift to the Fort Pierre-side abutment. Crews will begin driving pile for the west abutment, to be followed by construction of the west abutment footing, upper and lower stem walls, and wing walls.

Public Safety Information

Phase One – Underwater substructure construction and beginning roadway approach work

Phase Two – Westbound lane construction and signal work

Phase Three – Eastbound lane construction

Phase Four – Demolition of old bridge and construction of Pierre and Fort Pierre Plaza’s

A historic bridge project is in progress in the Pierre-Fort Pierre area. The new bridge is anticipated to be open for traffic in the summer of 2024. Total project completion is anticipated for summer 2025.

While the John C. Waldron Memorial Bridge still stands, it’s critical that the structure be replaced. The bridge was opened in 1962 and is showing signs of deterioration, which can cause a variety of issues. The current structure carries U.S. Highways 14 and 83, along with S.D. Highway 34. The structure is a crossing point over the Missouri River between Fort Pierre and Pierre.

In 2016, the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) performed a bridge replacement study, with intentions of gathering more information to justify a structure replacement. After years of studying and planning, the SDDOT decided to move forward with building a completely new bridge. The new structure will have updated features for functionality, user enjoyment, and aesthetics; and will be constructed just 10 feet north of the existing John C. Waldron Memorial Bridge.

Initial construction will not be visible to the public as it will begin underwater. This substructure work will consist of placing drilled shafts which will set the foundation for the rest of the project.