Project Updates

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022

SDDOT Provides John C. Waldron Memorial Bridge Project Update



PIERRE, S.D. –  The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) says the John C. Waldron Memorial Bridge project schedule is being revised. Initial construction of the Waldron Memorial Bridge, which connects the cities of Pierre and Fort Pierre, began with underwater substructure work. The substructure work consists of placing drilled shafts to set the foundation for the rest of the project. The contractor, Jensen Construction Company, has experienced difficulty drilling the 9’- 6” diameter drilled shafts, and is working on planned next steps to secure equipment and manpower to advance the project forward effectively and efficiently.


The contractor is working with SDDOT, as well as geotechnical and drilling experts, to determine the best drilling process before moving forward with underwater drilled shaft operations. Once the drilled shaft construction plan is completed, a more precise project schedule can be developed. Originally, the bridge was scheduled to open by December 2022. It is anticipated that the new bridge will be open in December 2023.The contractor continues to progress on the project by working on the bridge abutments on the Pierre and Fort Pierre sides of the river. Abutment construction is anticipated to continue into March 2022.For additional information and photos, please visit the project website at https://pierre-ftpierrebridge.com/.

Project is currently under construction. The new bridge is anticipated to be open for traffic December 2023 and total project completion anticipated for Summer 2024.

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 coming to the Pierre-Fort Pierre area. 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.