South Dakota’s Risky Bridges Lie on Lesser Roads

Covered Bridge


PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A survey of South Dakota’s bridges finds more than 100 of them carry a dual designation that could mean problems.

The Associated Press analyzed data in the National Bridge Inventory, and found 127 South Dakota bridges classified as both “fracture critical” and “structurally deficient.”

The first category means the bridge could fall if a single vital piece fails. The second means inspectors have rated its condition as poor or worse.

None of the bridges is on a state highway. Nearly all are on county roads that carry little traffic in rural areas. Many have weight limits that warn away heavy vehicles.

While the risk is less than if the bridges were on heavily traveled roads, that means cash-strapped county and city governments struggle to address the bridges.

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