Photo of road construction warning light.

Throughout the project, westbound lanes on U.S. Highway 14 across the Pierre-Fort Pierre Bridge will be intermittently reduced to one lane and traffic speeds may be reduced for bridge construction work.

Project Update

May 13, 2022: Progress continues on the drilled shafts for the new Pierre-Fort Pierre Bridge, even while the rest of the community is sleeping.

The week of May 2, 2022, crews installed the drilled shaft at bent six left. Westbound lanes were closed for the SDDOT to perform asphalt maintenance patching on the bridge, as well as for concrete placing from atop the bridge for the drilled shaft.

This week, crews installed the drilled shaft at bent seven left. The eastbound inside left lane over the bridge was closed Wednesday through Thursday to allow concrete trucks to more easily exit the construction entrance. Concrete was placed using a pump truck along the shore of the Missouri River on the Pierre side. Flaggers were present on the bike path/pedestrian walkway on the Pierre side to temporarily stop traffic while pump trucks discharged concrete. Bike/foot traffic was allowed to continue once a truck had passed.

To date, six of the 12 drilled shafts have been completed. Crews have also been continuing to work on pile driving for the Pierre-side abutment. Next week, the contractor plans to work on setting casings and work on the east abutment.

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 December 2023. Total project completion is anticipated for January 2025.

While the John C. Waldron Memorial Bridge still stands, it’s critical that the structure be replaced. The bridge was opened in the 1960s 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.

Back 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.