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Citizens meet with DOT on bridge future

Citizens in the Worthing area gathered at the Worthing Elementary School Nov. 16 to hear about a bridge in the area.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation presented information about replacing or removing the bridge over Interstate 29 at 281st Street. Steve Gramm, planning engineer for the DOT, said the bridge was built in 1958. Bridges built at that time were built to last for about 50 years and this one is approaching 60.

“The bridge is beyond what is its service life. We’ve gotten its life out of it. It’s not like it’s prematurely failing or anything like that,” Gramm said.

The bridge is classified as structurally deficient. The sufficiency rating is 53.1 on a 1-100 scale. The deck rating and superstructure rating are both a 4 on a 1-9 scale. There is exposed steel and the deck overlay is starting to crack. He is most concerned about water leakage through the abutment wall on both ends of the bridge.

The department did some traffic counts on the bridge during the end of May and October of 2016. They came up with an average daily traffic count of 25 vehicles.

Some residents in attendance disagreed with that finding.

The department is recommending removing the structure to the state Transportation Commission. The commission will meet sometime in the next few months to talk about what to do about the bridge. A date has not been set, but the meeting will likely be in Pierre.

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