PIERRE — The South Dakota Transportation Commission awarded 40 Preliminary Engineering Bridge Improvement Grants (BIG) totaling $1.47 million at its meeting recently in Pierre.

The remaining $13.53 million in 2021 BIG funds will be used for Preservation, Rehabilitation and Replacement grants to be approved by next April.

Grant recipients are: Aurora County, Brookings County (3), Butte County (2), Codington County, Davison County (4), Day County, Deuel County (2), Dewey County, Douglas County, Grant County (2), Gregory County, City of Hot Springs, Hutchinson County (2), Lake County, Lawrence County, Mellette County, Miner County, Minnehaha County (3), Perkins County, Roberts County (3), Turner County, Union County (4), Yankton County, and City of Yankton.

Forty applications were received by the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) from two cities and 22 counties.

Local governments are required to pay a minimum of 20% matching funds and have three years to expend the grant. Counties must have a wheel tax and a five-year Highway and Bridge Improvement Plan in order to receive a grant.

The BIG program was created in 2015 by Senate Bill 1. SB 1 set aside $7 million per year from funds generated by license plate fees to be used to repair and replace aging local bridges. The SDDOT adds an additional $8 million annually, making $15 million available.

The next round of BIG program applications is due Jan. 2, 2021, for the preservation, rehabilitation and replacement categories. Applications are available online at: https://dot.sd.gov/doing-business/local-governments/bridge-improvement-grants.

For more information regarding the BIG program, contact Doug Kinniburgh at 605-773-4284.

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