Yankton-Nebraska Bridge Work Could Be Done Early

Mon July 02, 2007 - Midwest Edition

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) The contractor for a new Missouri River bridge at Yankton expects to finish the job early, according to City Manager Jeff Weldon.

“The contractor does expect to complete the project a year ahead of schedule. We had heard that a couple weeks ago. … They seem quite confident they’ll be able to do that,” Weldon said.

Jensen Construction of Des Moines, Iowa, wants to be done by Christmas 2008, he said. The original schedule had the $23.9 million bridge finished by the winter of 2009.

Construction work on the Nebraska side could begin as early as June 3.

Actual work in the river has to wait until the fish spawning season is over, sometime in mid-July, Weldon said.

The four-lane bridge will connect Yankton with Nebraska. It will replace the aging Meridian Bridge, a double-deck span that will be turned into a pedestrian and biking structure.

Construction also is progressing on a new Missouri River bridge between Bismarck and Mandan in North Dakota, to replace the 85-year-old Liberty Memorial Bridge. The new bridge is expected to be open to traffic late this year.