Repair on Yankton U.S. 81 Meridian Bridge starts next week Repair on the U.S. 81 Meridian Bridge at Yankton will start the beginning of next week. The work will be done in two phases. Phase one involves repair of the external connecting plates in four locations. This work is expected to take four weeks and traffic under 10 tons will be allowed to cross the bridge. Phase two is also expected to take four weeks and requires that the bridge be closed to all traffic during the work. Phase two work involves repair of the internal connecting plates. Jensen Construction Company of Des Moines, IA, is doing the repair. Jensen is the contractor building the new bridge directly west of the Meridian Bridge. Until all repairs are complete, all traffic over 10 tons will be directed to two alternate routes. For South Dakota, eastbound take Hwy. 50 to Vermillion, then Hwy. 19 south to the Missouri River Bridge to go into Nebraska; or westbound take Hwy. 50 to Hwy. 37 and then south past Springfield to Running Water where the Missouri River Bridge goes into Nebraska. For Nebraska, the nearest Missouri River crossings are located east over the New Castle/Vermillion Bridge on Hwy. N-15 (South Dakota 19); and on N-12 (South Dakota 37) to the west over the Niobrara/Springfield, Standing Bear Bridge. It is very important that all traffic over 10 tons stay off the bridge. Law enforcement and private security personnel are protecting the bridge and public safety around the clock.