Testing completed of bridge damaged by pipeline protesters

AP News
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Posted: Dec 22, 2016 3:30 PM

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Department of Transportation has completed additional testing of a bridge damaged during protests of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

The department said its testing was completed Thursday with help from the Highway Patrol, the Morton County Sheriff's Department, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. There's no timetable for reopening the span.

Core samples were taken from the bridge and will be sent to an out-of-state lab specializing in evaluating concrete cores exposed to high temperatures. Results could take up to a month.

The Backwater Bridge north of Cannon Ball has been closed since October, when protesters blocked it with burning vehicles. The bridge has been the site of several clashes between protesters and police.

Protesters worry about the pipeline's effects on drinking water and on Native American artifacts.

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This story corrects name of bridge to Backwater Bridge instead of Blackwater Bridge.