8th Street Bridge to Get Upgrades in Spring 2020

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- More than 100 years later, the 8th Street Bridge is still essential to commuters in downtown Sioux Falls.

“You don’t get much for $40,000 these days,” says Knutson. That’s how much it cost to build the 8th Street Bridge across the Big Sioux River in 1912.

“And now we’re looking at way more than that… About $5 to $6 million.” Local officials announced, they think it’s time for the bridge to get an upgrade.

Project manager and civil engineer, Dena Knutson, says they’ll leave most of the structure in place.

The plan is to remove and replace the surface along with older concrete underneath the arches.

“We’ll do procedures to remove any old concrete on the, like the underneath the arches and in the arches and whatever to see… What’s needs to be replaced and then we’ll do patches that way. Fill it back in and put a new surface on.”

Bill Hoskins Director of Sioux Land Heritage Museums says historic structures have merit.

“They’re just like anything else though you have to maintain them, keep them up but if you do I think they end up being more economical than tearing them down and starting from scratch.”

Knutson says she’s excited for these upgrades, “There are only so many bridges in this whole country that are like this bridge. To take an old bridge and then rehabilitate it to a new bridge, but yet still look old… That’s always exciting.”

“Not only was it built well to last but it has character. It has some unique and interesting features that you don’t get on a modern world bridge,” says Hoskins. “The bridge is a key part of downtown… With some repairs I think it could be a great asset.”

Work on the bridge will begin next spring.

To learn more about the project, there’s an open house Tuesday night from 5-6 P.M. at the City Center.

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