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Rural Access Infrastructure Funding Provides State and Local Partnership for Inventory and Replacement of Small Structures

PIERRE, SD — The South Dakota Department of Transportation recently received $8.33 million to repair and rebuild culverts and small bridges on township and county secondary roads in counties across South Dakota. The South Dakota State Legislature established the Rural Access Infrastructure Fund (RAIF) in 2021 to help counties and townships inventory their small structures, plan needed improvements, and pay for the cost of repair or replacement. Since its creation, RAIF has distributed $22.66 million. One more distribution of $8.33 million is authorized for July 2024. “Since the establishment of this program, there has been great collaboration between the state and local governments to expedite the funding made available by the state legislators and Governor Noem,” said Joel Jundt, Secretary of Transportation. “I applaud them for having the foresight in 2021 to allocate funding to enable the upgrade of these structures that are located within the county and township transportation systems. These funds are critical to maintaining the interconnectedness of the state’s transportation network.”   To be eligible for funding, structures must be located on fully maintained county secondary or township roads. Individual culverts or groups of adjacent culverts must have an outlet opening of at least 16 square feet. Small bridges cannot exceed 20 feet in length. Currently 7,286 eligible culverts and 417 eligible small bridges have been identified.
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