Foster Street bridge ribbon-cutting
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
State and local officials celebrated the completion of the first Bridge Improvement Grant project at a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning in Davison County. The Foster Street bridge rehabilitation project was among the first to receive a grant under the road funding bill signed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard in 2015.
Former State Senator Mike Vehle led the charge to establish the BIG program under Senate Bill One. He answered the question why bridges instead of roads. “The idea was…you can have the nicest oil road coming up to the bridge or you can have just a washboard piece of junk dirt road,” said Vehle. “But if there’s no bridge, it’s all over. You’re not going anywhere.”
Vehle says if the state helped with the bridges, the counties had more flexibility in choosing which roads to repair and maintain with their remaining local funds.
The Foster Street Bridge over Firesteel Creek was built in 1952 and is 166 feet long. The rehabilitation cost is $665,000 far less than a new bridge. The restoration project took about ten weeks.
To date, 138 grants have been awarded for a total of $19 million dollars with an expected completion of all projects by the end of summer in 2020.
J.P. Skelly and SD DOT