Weight restriction imposed on Yanktonâ�?�?s Meridian Bridge A 10-ton gross weight limit has been placed on the Meridian Bridge on US Highway 81 over the Missouri River at Yankton. Vehicles exceeding 10 tons gross vehicle weight will be required to take an alternate route. The nearest Missouri River crossings are located on SD19 west of Vermillion, and on Highway SD37 west of Springfield. The restriction does not include passenger cars. The weight limit became effective 10 a.m. May 9, according to the South Dakota Department of Transportation and the Nebraska Department of Roads, who share ownership of the structure. A recent routine inspection revealed that corrosion on the gusset plates had progressed to a point that heavy load restrictions are warranted. Gusset plate corrosion was noted several years ago on a routine bridge inspection and had been periodically monitored ever since. According to SDDOT officials, the bridge is safe for normal vehicle traffic under 10 tons. The bridge will continue to be monitored while temporary repair options are being investigated. The load restrictions will remain in place until the repairs are implemented. A new Missouri River bridge crossing is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2008. For further information contact Emilie Miller at 773-7048.