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Nemo Road bridge to be closed for two months; commissioners approve COVID reimbursements
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Nemo Road bridge to be closed for two months; commissioners approve COVID reimbursements


The bridge near the intersection of Nemo and Pine roads is closed due to a partial bridge collapse.

The bridge on Nemo Road that had a partial collapse last week may be closed until the end of September.

Pennington County Highway Superintendent Joseph Miller told county commissioners on Tuesday that materials for the bridge may not be ready until the end of the month, and the contractor may not be able to get out there until early August.

The bridge is 0.2 miles south of the Meade County Line near the Pine Road intersection. Miller said a semi-truck hauling iron ore from Nemo to Twin Peaks crossed the bridge as it collapsed and blew out its axles and tires.

“We assume it wasn’t overweight,” he said.

Miller said the county will need eight bridge decks and three 50-footers and five 30-foot spans. He estimated the cost at $100,000 to $150,000.

He said the contractor is currently working on other projects for the county and it would likely take one to 1.5 months to complete the project.

Miller said last week that the bridge was not on the list of 21 structurally deficient bridges within the county.

Commissioner Ron Rossknecht asked Miller about an inspection from 2018 that noted some issues with the bridge. Miller said the budget and status of other bridges took priority at the time.

Miller said it won’t be likely the guard rails have to come out since the outside deck of the bridge is in good standing.

There will be a public informational meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Nemo Community Hall to discuss the bridge. The hall is at 12746 Nemo Road in Nemo.

During the meeting, Miller also announced the county received an award from the Federal Aid Bridge Replacement Program for $1,273,299 to help replace three bridges.

According to a press release from the South Dakota Department of Transportation, there were 113 applications for the program, which represented about 11% of the current eligible need. However, the program’s funds will only cover 5% of that need.

Miller said the county will need to match $280,451 in accordance with the program.

“This is a very good thing for Pennington County,” he said.

He said the county would’ve had to pay $1.6 million up front to replace the bridges on its own.

The board also approved lowering the Lower Spring Creek Road speed limit to 40 mph and authorized the department to advertise and receive bids for a new truck.

Commissioners also approved a resolution and agreement for the Local Government COVID Recovery Fund Reimbursement. The resolution and agreement allows the county to be reimbursed for COVID-19 funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act. 

Commissioner Mark DiSanto said it’s important to note the county will be reimbursed about $7.5 million.

The county also released a press release Tuesday stating county administrative buildings will partially lift its restricted public access with public safety measures in place to conduct business in person as of Monday.

According to the release, the Public Defender’s Office and the Office of the States Attorney will resume business July 27

Business in the Treasurer’s Office will be restricted to one individual per window, and the drop box inside the main entrance of the Administration Building will no longer be used after 5 p.m. Friday.

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