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South Dakota’s most unique bridge opens just in time for Memorial Day weekend

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Sunday
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 4:54 PM MDT
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KEYSTONE, S.D. (KEVN) - Keystone’s Wye bridge opened Friday just before the busy holiday weekend.

Closed for construction after last Labor Day, the goal was to reopen the unique bridge by Memorial Day.

Work done on the bridge included replacing 50-year-old bridge decks but with wood instead of concrete and steel as seen on modern bridges.

“There are very few timber structures left in South Dakota and anywhere. We’ve learned through this process that timber is a very viable construction product and to preserve the Keystone Wye bridges as timber structures was important to us,” explained Rich Zacher, engineer for the Custer area.

Working on the famous bridge all winter did provide challenges due to weather conditions, but crews pressed on to meet their deadline.

“What I think is neat about it is that we took a historic structure and extended the life by possibly another 50 years and in the process make it look even more historic,” said Zacher.

Zacher explained when the Keystone Wye bridge first opened in 1968 the goal was to create a gateway to the Black Hills and that goal still stands today.

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