Watertown bridge replacement contract approved, but not without differences of opinion  (Audio)

March 7, 2022
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–A bridge replacement project that’s been in the works in Watertown since 2017 has finally been given the green light.

At Monday night’s city council meeting, the council approved a construction bid of just over $3.5 million dollars for the replacement of the 3rd Avenue Northwest bridge over the Big Sioux River.

The project calls for building a new 116-foot asphalt bridge, along with a little over 100 yards of a multi-use asphalt trail and a kayak launch area.

Councilman Colin Paulsen wanted to see the city spend a little more on the bridge replacement by using concrete instead of asphalt, but his motion failed on a 4-2 vote.

Concrete has a more expensive up-front cost, but over the long term, maintenance costs are usually less than asphalt.

Paulsen says if you look at what’s happening with Watertown’s roads now, spending a little more is a wise investment….

The council voted to go with the less expensive asphalt option, which was about $180,000 less than concrete.