Ever since the protest events on October 27th the backwater bridge just north of the camp has been closed. Today the Department of Transportation is taking the first steps to open it back up.
Cars burned throughout the night in late October. They were set on fire by protesters to create a barrier between them and law enforcement. The Department of Transportation is now on the bridge to determine if it is safe to drive on.
John Ketterling: “We’re going to come out here, we’re going to mill off the asphalt at this point right now in the areas that we know are the worst, and we’re going to back a coring machine in and we’re going to core through the tops of these box beams.”
And right here is where they’re taking the core sampling to determine if there was any damaged caused on the backwater bridge on October 27th.
John Ketterling: “We could have an instance where beams could be need to be replaced. And a time frame for that is known at this time. This is a tough time of year to do any of that type of work.”
The samples will now be sent to an out-of-state lab where they will be tested. Representatives from the Standing Rock tribe came to observe the work. They have concerns for the bridge being closed this long.
Ron His Horse: “Better late than never, one. That hopefully the tests will prove that the bridge is sound and we can open up this bridge and get traffic flowing back and forth. And it’s going to make a huge difference, especially in terms of safety.”
Ketterling says that the core sampling results could take up to 30 days to get back.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol teamed up with the Bureau of Indian affairs to keep peace during testing.