UPDATE 8:00 PM Friday: The Department of Transportation re-opened the bridge to one lane of traffic. The project will continue as scheduled with an anticipated July completion date. 

It should only be for a couple of days, but crews discovered a problem that needed attention. The I-29 bridge at Exit 26 is closed.

At the time of discovery the span was already getting a tune-up as Craig Smith of the South Dakota Department of Transportation explained.

“They were milling off the top layer of concrete on the bridge deck and then put on new concrete to rehabilitate the driving surface. As they got into the deck they came across one area that was pretty well deteriorated that needed a more extensive repair.”

The area is approximately 50 square feet, but to do a proper repair Smith said the closure was necessary.

“They’re removing the bad concrete and trying to retain all the steel. Then new concrete will be poured back into that smaller area. As soon as we posted (the closure notice) the contractor was committed to pour new concrete in that area today (Friday June 9). We’re using a high early-strength concrete so we’re optimistic that this weekend we’ll have it back open to traffic.”

Detours are in place for I-29 northbound traffic that wants to go west at Exit 26. The alternate route is Exit 31 (Spink Exit) with a loop back on southbound I-29 where you can go west without using the bridge. A route for all vehicles regardless of weight or length to get to I-29 would be using SD 19 going north of Vermillion to SD 46 then east to the interstate.

“The locals are probably going to find a way,” said Smith. “For any trucks, we would want to keep them on our state roads.”

Once the bridge is deemed traffic-ready, the regular work would continue with one lane of traffic that would be controlled by a traffic signal.

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