frequently asked questions

Please submit your questions by using the contact us form or emailing bridgeinfo@projectsolutionsinc.com.

How will the drilled shafts be installed under the water?

To help explain the process of the drilled shaft installation, the first minute of this video is shared in order to visually represent the plan Jensen Construction and SDDOT has approved for this project. 

An oversized steel casing, 13.5’ in diameter, will be installed from a floating barge in the river down through the water into the river bottom. This is put in place to allow for a permanent 10-foot diameter steel casing to be installed inside the oversized casing and allow for the concrete to be placed inside the 10-foot casing without the need to worry about fresh concrete being spilled into the river. The permanent casings are approximately 49 feet long. 

The permanent casing is installed into the bed of the river and turned into the shale, creating a solid foundation. 

Credit for video belongs to Kalloc Tech

The “shaft” will then be excavated using an auger to drill deep into the shale below the river’s bottom.  This will occur in a two-step auguring process. 

Once the “shaft” is excavated and cleaned out, the steel reinforcing (rebar) is inserted into the drilled shaft. These are referred to as “cages” typically as can be seen on the video. 

These cages are fabricated offshore and taken by barge and then lowered into the drilled shaft using a crane on the barge. Care must be taken and special spacers are used to make sure the rebar does not come into contact with the bottom or sides of the drilled shaft to ensure that the rebar will be completely encased by the concrete. 

Upon final inspection of the placement of the rebar, concrete can then be placed in the drilled shaft. 

A concrete pump will be used to fill the drilled shafts with concrete. This is done by displacing the water in the drilled shaft with concrete by using a device called a tremie tube. A tremie tube is a long pipe with a length greater than the depth of the drilled shaft. One end of the tremie is lowered to the bottom of the drilled shaft and concrete is placed through the use of the tremie tube. Before starting to place the concrete, a foam ball is inserted into the top end of the tremie tube. Once the ball is in place, concrete is placed in the tremie tube above the ball. By the weight of the concrete on top of the ball, the ball is pushed down the tremie tube which is acting as a squeegee pushing the water down and out of the bottom of the tremie. When the ball exits the tremie’s bottom, the concrete then quickly begins to displace the water in the bottom of the shaft in an upward direction. The tremie always remains embedded into the concrete by 5’ or more and is lifted at the same rate that the concrete comes up in the shaft until the tremie reaches the top of the permanent casing.  

There are numerous testing procedures used throughout this process to ensure the highest quality in the materials used and ensure the installation is correct. 

Of additional note each drilled shaft will contain approximately 365 cubic yards of concrete and nearly 65,000 pounds of steel. The concrete will obtain a strength in excess of 4,500 pounds per square inch. 

**Disclaimer, please note this video was created by Kalloc Tech.**

No, the river will remain open at all times, with work zone areas in place. Boaters will be addressed as needed if too close to the work zone. 

The old pilings will be removed at the river bottom and will not be left sticking up to cause any disruption or hazard. 

Traffic will remain open through the entirety of the project with intermittent traffic control until 2022 In Spring 2021, one westbound lane will be closed. One lane will remain open for westbound traffic until Fall 2021. Both west bound lanes will be closed in 2022 until completion. At that time, the east bound lanes will be used for one lane traffic in each direction.  Width restrictions will be in place in 2022 during one lane traffic in each direction. Detours for oversize loads will be diverted to SD-204 at the Oahe Dam. 

Yes, the Sunset will fit under the new bridge. The Sunset is hoping to be back up and running in 2022.

This is a three-year project. The new bridge is anticipated to be completed and open for traffic at the end of 2022. Removal of the existing bridge and construction of the plazas are anticipated for completion by the end of 2023. 

The removal is very involved. Final removal methods have not been completely determined. The concrete deck and rail will be removed with hydraulic breakers on excavators. The steel girders will either be cut by torch and lifted off or possible blasting to remove them. The concrete substructure will either be blasted or a cofferdam will be installed to remove the concrete by hydraulic breakers on excavators. it will be removed to elevations that are below the channel’s bottom. 

The project will not have its own batch plant for concrete. Concrete will be supplied by PLS/BSG.

Concrete placed for the bridge portion of the project will be in excess of 12,000 Cubic Yards.  Drilled shafts – 4396 yds, Class A45 Bridge Concrete – 2613 yds, Class A45 Bridge Deck – 4758 yds. 

The new elevations will differ from those of the existing structure. The Ft Pierre abutment will be 8 to 9 feet higher while the Pierre abutment will be nearly 7 feet lower. The highest point of the new structure will be several feet lower than the existing bridge. 

The TPAR (Temporary Pedestrian Access Route) is in place on the Fort Pierre Side. Jensen Construction is working with the DOT to finalize the route on the Pierre side. 

Five cranes total will be used during the construction of the new bridge. Three cranes will be floating on barges in the river, one crane will be on the Fort Pierre riverbank, and one crane will be on the Pierre riverbank. The land cranes will construct the abutments and help load materials to and from the barges. The floating cranes will be used to construct the substructure, erect steel and service the superstructure work.  

Many people have asked this question. There will not be a live feed to the project. There are cameras in place for time lapse pictures and videos of the project from both the Pierre and Fort Pierre sides. We post pictures and videos of the progress on the SDDOT Facebook, Twitter, and this website. At the commencement of the project there will be a time lapse video showing the progress from start to finish.