Bridge damaged by pipeline protesters set for inspection

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Transportation Department will inspect a damaged bridge near the main Dakota Access 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 pipeline's effects on drinking water and on Native American artifacts.

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