In Show of Cooperation, Standing Rock Tribe and North Dakota Officials Inspect Bridge
Since October, the Backwater Bridge just outside of the Sacred Stones protest camp near Cannon Ball, N.D. has been a flash point between protesters and police. It was where police used tear gas and fire hoses to put out blazes and repel protesters just before Thanksgiving and has been closed to traffic far longer. The bridge itself has been closed since late October, when protesters blocked it by burning cars, potentially causing structural damage. On Thursday, though, it became a symbol of reconciliation as the Standing Rock tribal government and the state of North Dakota cooperated to inspect the bridge in preparation for reopening it to traffic.
Before the bridge can be reopened to traffic, the state needs to know that the burning cars did not weaken the concrete supporting the bridge. Officials from the North Dakota Department of Transportation took concrete samples on Thursday. These will be sent to an out of state lab specializing in evaluating the integrity of concrete exposed to high temperatures. Results are expected back in 30 days.