Pierre-Fort Pierre Bridge Project

Photo of road construction warning light.
The traveling public should be mindful of intermittent traffic control over the Pierre-Fort Pierre Bridge throughout the construction project. Lanes will be closed as needed to help keep everyone safe while construction crews transport the necessary materials for the new bridge.

Project Update

Feb. 2, 2023: Crews continued working on the substructure of the new Pierre-Fort Pierre Bridge between bouts of cold temperatures, precipitation, and river icing during January 2023. Workers placed concrete for the final set of capitals on Jan. 21, 2023, and concrete for the cap at bent four on Jan. 27, 2023. One cap for the new bridge remains to be completed at bent three.

Workers have also been preparing to erect the bridge girders, also referred to as beams. The girders, which have begun arriving on the construction site, will give support to the bridge deck or surface that will be the roadway. Workers have been setting disc bearings and placing anchor bolts for the Pierre abutment beam seats and on the bent seven cap.

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.