Pierre-Fort Pierre Bridge Project

Photo of road construction warning light.

The westbound outside lane over the Pierre-Fort Pierre Bridge is currently closed from the start of the bridge in Pierre through the U.S. Highway 14/83 intersection in Fort Pierre as crews work to reconstruct the intersection in preparation for the new bridge.  

Project Update

November 27, 2023Heading into the holiday season, the Pierre-Fort Pierre bridge project crew continues working as diligently as ever. Of seven total deck concrete pours, three have been completed.

Pouring concrete can be a logistically challenging part of a new bridge project. Several ideas were considered, and chosen method involves the use of a pump truck with an extendable arm. The truck is parked on the old bridge, allowing the crew to deploy concrete mix on the surface of the new bridge. 

Concrete is best poured when the temperature is between 40°-60° F. Crews pouring concrete during fall and winter months must employ onsite heating elements and insulating blankets in order to stay on schedule.

Additionally, the two-way traffic configuration in the eastbound lanes of the John C. Waldron Memorial Bridge has been removed between Fort Pierre and Pierre for the winter season. Two eastbound lanes are now open to traffic from Fort Pierre to Pierre.

The westbound bridge is now open for the traveling public from Pierre to Fort Pierre. The outside westbound lane is currently closed, and will be closed intermittently, as weather allows to accommodate for ongoing winter construction activities.

With the removal of the two-way traffic configuration, the 10-foot width restriction across the structure has also been removed.

The traveling public is asked to remain aware and alert traveling through the work zone for construction vehicles and workers adjacent to the moving traffic.

Public Safety Information

A historic bridge project is in progress in the Pierre-Fort Pierre, South Dakota, area. 

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. Construction of the new bridge began in November of 2020.

The new structure is being constructed just 10 feet north of the existing John C. Waldron Memorial Bridge. The new bridge will have updated features for functionality, user enjoyment, and aesthetics. The new bridge is anticipated to be open for traffic in the summer of 2024. Total project completion is anticipated for summer 2025.

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 plazas.