Mystery Bridge Nr. 166: A Concrete Bridge near the Native American Reservation in South Dakota

Photo taken in 1998

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One of the bridges that is in the headlines lately happens to be the one where I visited while bridgehunting in South Dakota. But that was almost a quarter century ago. The Crescent Street Bridge is located in Flandreau in Moody County, between Sioux Falls and Brookings. It spans the Big Sioux River and features a three-span concrete bridge with ornamental railings. It was built in 1935 and was part of the Works Progress Administration project that was initiated by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt with the goal of getting millions of Americans back into the workforce, as the USA was in the midst of a Great Depression. It was considered elgible for the National Register of Historic Places under Criteria C because of its association with the WPA and bridge construction during that period.

According to news stories, the bridge is scheduled to be removed during the course of 2022. The bridge has been closed for some time and since there are two other crossings in Flandreau- one of which is only a half mile to the east, chances are unlikely that this bridge will be replaced. Because the bridge is located at the entrance to the Santee Sioux Indian Reservation, work has been ongoing between local government officials, Moody County and the Reservation to determine whether a new bridge is necessary and if so, when it will be built. At the time of this post, no agreements have been made as far as the bridge’s future is concerned. Unlike the Green Bridge in Waverly, Iowa, which was removed completely last November at the dismay of many residents living in the area, this bridge project is a delicate one because it involves more than two government agencies- namely the local government and the State Historic Preservation Office, which is part of the umbrella of the state department of transportation . This one involves a Native American Reservation which is a government of its own and therefore has as much say as the state. It will be interesting to see how things develop, even after the bridge is gone.

Before it goes, we would like to know about the bridge’s history- namely who built it and what predecessor existed before 1935. Do you know about it? Then write to us using the contact information here.

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One thought on “Mystery Bridge Nr. 166: A Concrete Bridge near the Native American Reservation in South Dakota

  1. From Susan Allen: The Crescent Street Bridge built by WPA in 1935 at Flandreau was constructed for $19,591.80 and the contract was let to J. C. Sorenson of Trent. Sorenson built a number of bridges and roads in the area based on newspaper reports. A temporary bridge was constructed west of the existing bridge while the new bridge was constructed.

    Source: New Bridge will be built at Flandreau for $19,000. March 29, 1935. Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls SD), p. 16
    Expect Contracts to get approval. March 15, 1935. Huron Evening Huronite, p. 11.

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