Preparing for the worst

South Dakota Department of Transportation officials advise that bridges along the Missouri River are structurally sound and not in danger from the impending high water. A contract was awarded last week to add and extend riprap that protects the embankment under the Newcastle-Vermillion bridge that crosses the Missouri near Vermillion. Similar protective measures have already been done at the Missouri River bridge between Pierre and Ft. Pierre. The Discovery Bridge and Meridian Bridge in Yankton are not experiencing any problems with erosion at this time. Secretary of Transportation Darin Bergquist said, as a precautionary measure, crews will continue to monitor all bridges along the Missouri River in order to mitigate any issues with erosion of the embankments. The work on the South Dakota side of the bridge, done last Friday, was just part of the efforts made in the last week, from Pierre down to Dakota Dunes, to prepare for record releases of water from the Missouri River mainstem dams. For the latest news, photos and videos of river flooding and its impact on the area, log on to,, and Plain Talk editor David Lias blog at (Photo courtesy of Dave Tunge/Dakota Aerials)

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