The South Dakota Highway Commission met on Thursday, April 26 in Pierre. One of the items on the agenda was the consideration of a proposal which would result in the eventual demolition of the bridge over I-29 between the Canton and Worthing exits.
Opponents of the action included State Sen. Jim Bolin of Canton, who testified in person against the proposal, and numerous local residents from the Worthing area, who expressed their opposition to the demolition by phone. After an hour long discussion and many questions, the commission decided to oppose giving the transportation department the authority to begin the process that would result in the demolition of the span that serves local residents. The current status of a yearly structural inspection and the monitoring of the bridge for safety will remain in place. No action was taken to authorize any expenditure of funds to repair the structure.
Newly appointed highway commissioner Larry Nelson of Canton asked many questions of the staff and in the end the vote was 5-3 to maintain the current status. The question concerning the long term viability of this structure will likely be revisited in the future, but for now the bridge will remain in place with no action currently being considered for its demolition by the highway commission, which has authority over the structure.