PIERRE | Town leaders in Pierre and Fort Pierre have started an 11-year planning process for a new bridge across the Missouri River between the two cities.
The Capital Journal reports (http://bit.ly/15at0Ip ) that state and local officials held the first discussions this week with representatives of Minnesota-based engineering company URS.
The firm will conduct a study through next year that will look at the various options for the new span, including type, location, width, environmental factors and aesthetics.
It will also take input from the public. There will be three public meetings within the next 18 months, with the first set for October or November.
Construction on the new bridge isn't set to start until 2023. It's scheduled to open to traffic in 2025.
URS's goal is to build an aesthetically pleasing structure that lasts 100 years. That might involve relocating the bridge to the north or south, which will have an impact on adjoining streets, city green space and pedestrian trails, said Greg Brown, URS project manager.
URS will work with a technical committee comprised of DOT employees and other experts and also a citizen advisory committee.
Some concerns brought up by that committee were to make sure the new bridge coexists with Fort Pierre's planned Riverwalk Landing marina and revived plans to build a new public pool in Pierre.
Steve Gramm, DOT project manager, said planning will take more than a decade because the bridge will cost more than the typical project, which usually takes about eight years, and 2025 is when funding will likely be available.