From Dell Rapids' Attic - History
Garfield Avenue Settlers' Bridge
By the 1920s, Garfield Avenue became a major route leading into and out of Dell Rapids. A bigger and better bridge was needed to accommodate the increasing (now auto) traffic across the Sioux River. In the fall of 1928, work began on the $32,000 structure - a substantial amount of money in those days.
By August 1929, the cantilever type bridge was completed. This bridge was built with nine girders self-supported under load and measured 240 feet long. It had a 24-foot driveway and a five-foot sidewalk on its east side. Another unique feature of the bridge were its twelve electric streetlights (six to a side) mounted on dark green slender lampposts. The bridge was said to have been the most beautiful of any in the state.
On dedication day, in honor and memory of the early Dell Rapids settlers, bridge engineer for the state highway commission, J. Harper Hamilton, said, "Dedication of the bridge 'to the early settlers of the community' is as it should be. These settlers stand at one end of a long line of progress in this state. They made possible what is now come to pass and it is fitting that to them is dedicated the most beautiful bridge in the state. The bridge itself is unlike any other structure designed under the present highway laws, and set as it is in the solid granite of the Dell Rapids region, and should provide a crossing ample in capacity and endurance for the traffic of the distant future."
As the city moved into the 21st century that bridge – with its two 14x24 inch engraved bronze tablets dedicated to the memory of the early pioneers, is still in use. Minus the original streetlights, this white bridge continues to carry the sometimes heavy traffic across the Big Sioux River to and from some of Dell Rapids favorite sites - the city parks.