UPDATED: Bridge closure near Baltic prompted by deficiency
September 11. 2012 8:31PM
UPDATE (9/13/12): Minnehaha County officials met yesterday to discuss the bridge closure. Those meeting discussed deficiencies in the bridge that makes it unsafe for travel. It will remain closed to all traffic until a replacement bridge can be built. The county has made the project a priority and will work toward a late-summer/early-fall 2013 completion date. Mayor Mike Wendland said that, to assist Baltic citizens in understanding the issues involved, a public meeting will be held Wednesday, Sept. 19, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., at Baltic High School.
A bridge closure west of Baltic this afternoon was due to an unnamed deficiency, according to a report at the local city council meeting tonight.
The bridge, on Highway 114, is closed to all traffic as engineers meet to discuss options, according to mayor Mike Wendland. He said that an emergency meeting had been called for tomorrow to talk about the bridge, which is Minnehaha County property and was built in 1957.
Wendland said that the bridge, which was deannexed, along with some land around it, to the county for ownership and maintenance years ago, is a main thoroughfare for many Baltic residents.
“It’s important all-around,” the mayor said, adding that the fire department will take precautionary measures as needed to position emergency vehicles within availability for those living west of the bridge. “For now it’s the unknown.”
He said that though little is known about the details of the deficiency discovered during an inspection, there are likely three options – adding weight restrictions to the existing structure, fixing it or replacing it all together.
Maintenance administrative assistant Ryan Fods asked the council to consider stressing the installation of a walkway, in the case of the bridge being altered or reengineered.
“If they’re going to be designing something they might as well do that right away,” he said, citing foot traffic coming to and from the nearby Baltic River Park.
The council gave Mayor Wendland the directive to discuss the walkway option with engineers as they decide how to proceed.
A detour is set to include Highway 122, via County Highway 133 and State Highway 115.