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Posted on: April 20, 2021

Pedestrian bridge removed, another to be relocated to comply with FEMA requirements

Peoria bridge

SPEARFISH, SD – Residents and rec path users will notice a change in connectivity along the rec path near Salem Park as the pedestrian bridge spanning Spearfish Creek near Peoria Street has been removed, to be replaced in May by the bridge currently located near Rushmore Street.

“We apologize for the inconvenience during the project,” Parks and Recreation Director Tyler Ehnes said, explaining that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) permitting requirements mandated the removal of the bridges.

A floodplain remapping project, which started in 2017, showed that the pedestrian bridges would cause a rise in the floodplain and would need to be removed for the maps to achieve compliance with FEMA’s Community Rating System, which impacts flood insurance options for the surrounding residential structures and privately-owned properties, which in turn impacts property values, construction projects, and insurance premiums.

The City explored alternatives and found that resetting the Rushmore Street pedestrian bridge at the Peoria Street bridge location was an option. 

The contractor began work on the project mid-April to remove the bridge near Peoria Street. 

In the meantime, the Rushmore bridge will remain in place for connectivity. Users will see a short disruption (around 1 week) in connectivity in the middle of May when the contractor resets the Rushmore bridge on the new abutments near Salem park.  The project is expected to be completed by the end of May.

Peoria bridge

The pedestrian bridge near Peoria Street, pictured in 2019, was removed recently. The pedestrian bridge currently near Rushmore Street will be reset in the location. 

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