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Palisades State Park Reduces Bridge Weight Limits





PIERRE, S.D. – After a routine structural inspection of the iconic 1908 bridge located at Palisades State Park near Garretson, the gross vehicle weight capacity of the bridge has been reduced to 3-tons. This new rating will exclude traditional passenger vehicle traffic over the bridge. 

“The Department of Game, Fish, and Parks (GFP) will put vehicle size restrictions in place, effective immediately,” said district park supervisor, Luke Dreckman. “This is very unfortunate news, but the decision was made with public safety in mind.”

Barriers will be placed at the bridge entrance with an opening of 66 inches to limit the size of vehicles crossing the bridge.

“This will limit use to UTVs, motorcycles, or other similar sized motor vehicles,” says Dreckman. 

The bridge will remain open to pedestrian traffic, providing access to the popular King and Queen quartzite rock outcroppings on the west side of Split Rock Creek.

Park staff are working to provide temporary parking while incorporating long-term parking in the park expansion plans to replace parking lost due to the bridge closure.

GFP anticipates groundbreaking on a multi-year, phased park expansion south of the existing park in 2021. The park expansion will include additional opportunities for visitors including camping, canoe/kayak launches, trails, additional access to Split Rock Creek, and infrastructure to enhance outdoor recreational opportunities. GFP is planning visitor access to some of these improvements in 2023. 

Questions can be directed to Palisades State Park by calling 605.594.3824 or by emailing parkinfo@state.sd.us