2 votes

Pigtail Bridge


Route 87, Pigtail Bridge

Elevation View From Road Level. View SW

Photo taken by Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #152577


Street View 


From the HAER report: The Pigtail Bridge is one of a series of bridges constructed by the South Dakota State Highway Commission during the development of Custer State Park. The bridge helped facilitate motor tourism in the Black Hills by establishing a link between the newly developed Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park.

In keeping with the contemporary park manager's preferences for naturalistic design, the bridge was carefully integrated into its surroundings and was originally constructed from local pine.

The unusual "pigtail" configuration consists of a relatively short, straight span that forms part of a spiral ramp, allowing the roadway to gain elevation quickly in constricted terrain by looping back over itself in a tight 270-degree curve. The South Dakota Highway Commission employed this configuration in several locations in the Black Hills, but this is the only "Pigtail Bridge" in Wind Cave National Park.


Steel stringer bridge over SD Route 87 on SD Route 87
Custer County, South Dakota
Open to traffic
Built 1930; Subsequent work 1940; rehabilitated 2007
Steel stringer
Length of largest span: 41.0 ft.
Total length: 77.1 ft.
Deck width: 20.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 7, 1995
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.60111, -103.49417   (decimal degrees)
43°36'04" N, 103°29'39" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
13/621535/4828672 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Wind Cave
Average daily traffic (as of 2013)
Inventory numbers
NRHP 95000344 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 43888 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of August 2017)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 69.5 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • March 1, 2014: New Street View added by Dave King
  • August 23, 2011: New photos from James McCray
  • August 11, 2011: New photos from James McCray
  • January 16, 2010: Added by J.R. Manning


  • J.R. Manning - thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
  • HAER SD-54 - Pigtail Bridge, Hot Springs vicinity, Custer County, SD
  • James McCray - jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Dave King - DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com