Sioux City, Dakota Dunes residents discuss future location of Big Sioux River pedestrian crossing project

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NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (KCAU) – The Sioux City Parks and Recreation Department and the Dakota Dunes Community Improvement District are working together on a project to connect walking trails between the two cities.

The proposed pedestrian bridge would stretch over the Big Sioux River near I-29. Siouxland residents weighed in on three options with varying price tags and locations.

“I do look at the three different costs of the bridges that they’re kind of projecting, so sure I like to lean towards, still bridge number one. If they choose bridge two, great, but bridge three has everyone concerned about the flood plain level,” North Sioux City resident Holly Carpenter said.

“The one that I think would be best would be option two, the old bridge going across the boat club. It’s high water. It’s good access. We already have parking in Riverside,” Sioux City resident John Stivers said.

The Sioux City Parks and Recreation Director said the Big Sioux River Pedestrian Crossing Project would provide further expansion to Siouxland’s current walking trails.

“40 miles of trail compared to, you know, 10 miles or 30 miles respectively, so even for Sioux City residents to eventually be able to connect to the Adams Nature Preserve. I think that would be good,” Director Matt Salvatore said.

Much of the area under consideration for the project has been prone to flooding. Project engineer Matt Brua said that adds another level of consideration.

“We looked at the Federal Emergency Management Agency maps, or FEMA maps to kind of determine, you know, kind of where the flood insurance would be the biggest obstacle about determining the locations,” Brua said.

Despite those roadblocks, those on hand Wednesday made it clear the bridge needs to be built, calling it a welcomed addition to the area.

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“Sioux City is seeing some growth. If we can provide more recreational opportunities, we’ll get more young families moving in,” Stivers said.

“Any bridge you choose is fine with me, honestly. I’m happy about that. Tourism, it connects the three states and I’ve always thought that’s a great idea just for the area,” Carpenter said.

Salvatore said the project will be paid for with private donations and grants. A final decision on which bridge plan moves forward is still weeks away.

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