Bridge near pipeline protest likely to reopen _ eventually

AP News
Posted: Dec 17, 2016 10:25 AM

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Now-former North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault believe reopening a disputed bridge near the main Dakota Access pipeline protest encampment is key to restoring better relations between the state and the tribe.

But information from the state Transportation Department indicates it'll be weeks if not months.

The state and tribe are trying to repair relations as pipeline protests have waned in harsh winter weather and with the project stalled in court.

The bridge has been closed since being damaged by fire set by protesters in late October. It's been the site of several clashes between protesters and police.

A Transportation Department spokeswoman says the bridge repairs will require inspection, lab testing, special equipment and possibly even a shelter to create a proper work environment.