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.

The westbound outside lane over the bridge will be closed Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2022, for concrete placing for the new bridge’s cap at bent five. The lane will be reopened following concrete placement.

Project Update

Nov. 23, 2022: With temperatures warming the week of Thanksgiving, work has continued on the caps, capitals, and columns for the new Pierre-Fort Pierre Bridge. Crews have removed the capital forms at bent five and have been preparing to place concrete for the cap. Of the 12 total capitals for the new bridge, only four capitals remain to be constructed at bents four and three. Crews are also working to finish the columns at bent three. It was decided to wait until next spring to begin building the mechanically stabilizing earth (MSE) retaining walls on the Pierre side. Crews anticipate beginning pile driving for the Fort Pierre-side abutment and erecting the structural steel girders in January 2023. The girders are the structural beams that span between the bents. The bridge deck’s concrete will be cast on top of the girders.

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.