Meridian Highway Bridge

Meridian Highway Bridge
Meridian Highway Bridge
Official name Meridian Highway Bridge
Carries Closed, previously 2 lanes of US 81
Crosses Missouri River
Locale Yankton, South Dakota and Cedar County, Nebraska
Design Vertical lift bridge double deck, Pratt through truss
Total length 3013 feet
Width 33 feet
Longest span 1668 feet
Clearance below feet
Opened 1924
Coordinates 42°51′52.47″N 97°23′38.31″W / 42.864575°N 97.393975°W / 42.864575; -97.393975

The Meridian Highway Bridge is a bridge that formerly carried US Route 81 across the Missouri River from the Nebraska border to the South Dakota border. The Meridian Highway Bridge connects Yankton, South Dakota, with rural Cedar County, Nebraska. The Meridian Bridge is a double deck bridge, with the top level having carried traffic into South Dakota from Nebraska, and the lower level having carried traffic into Nebraska from South Dakota.



The dedication ceremony was held on October 11, 1924 and the bridge opened as a toll bridge. It was the last link of the Meridian Highway, which became U.S. Route 81, to be completed. It was designed for use by trains for the lower half of the bridge, vehicular traffic on the upper half, and a lift mechanism to aid river traffic. However, trains never used the lower half, so it was converted to use by southbound traffic, with northbound traffic using the upper half of the bridge and the lift mechanism was removed. In 1953, all tolls were lifted.[1]

The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP reference number 93000537) in 1993.

On May 9, 2008, a 10-ton gross weight limit was placed on the bridge after an inspection found corrosion on the gusset plates. The bridge will continue to be monitored while temporary repair options are being investigated. It was replaced by the Discovery Bridge upon its opening on October 11, 2008, exactly 84 years after the dedication of the Meridian Highway Bridge. [2][3]


With completion of the Discovery Bridge, the Meridian Bridge is being converted into a pedestrian/bike trail.[4]

See also

Meridian state bridge1024.jpg


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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