|In this image provided by Morton County Sheriff’s Department, law enforcement and protesters clash near the site of the Dakota Access pipeline on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, in Cannon Ball, N.D. The clash came as protesters sought to push past a bridge on a state highway that had been blockaded since late October, according to the Morton County Sheriff's Office. (Morton County Sheriff’s Department via AP)|
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Transportation Department will inspect a damaged bridge near the main Dakota Access oil pipeline protest encampment.
The Blackwater Bridge on Highway 1806 has been closed since October, when protesters blocked it with burning vehicles, damaging the structure. It's been the site of several other clashes, including on Nov. 20, when authorities used tear gas, rubber bullets and water sprays on protesters who they say assaulted officers with rocks and burning logs.
The Transportation Department plans to inspect the bridge on Thursday. Results of testing will be sent to a lab. That could take a month to complete.
It's unknown how long repairs might take or how much they'll cost.
Protesters worry about the oil pipeline's effects on drinking water and on Native American artifacts.