The South Dakota Transportation Commission awards eight million dollars in funding to communities and counties statewide to preserve, rehabilitate, or replace bridges.
Doug Kinniburgh is a local government engineer with the South Dakota Department of Transportation. He says local governments are required to contribute 20 percent matching funds for their projects. Kinniburgh says municipalities and counties must make additional commitments to be considered for funding.
"For a county to be eligible for the grant, they have to set forth a wheel tax, per state law. There is no requirement that that wheel tax go directly toward these bridges, but the way the wheel tax is structured it does go into the local road and bridge fund, so it is in essence providing additional resources for our local transportation needs. The second primary requirement that the local governments have to do is they have to develop and maintain their own five-year transportation plan. What we're really looking for there is local input, local-driven projects that fit the need of that local entity," Kinniburgh says.
The State Transportation Commission awarded a total of 17 grants for this funding cycle. The Bridge Improvement Grant program was created in 2015 after the passage of the Senate Bill One road funding legislation. License plate fees help generate the dollars needed for the initiative.