SDDOT Partners with AGC and Area Contractors to Engage Youth and Families in Work Zone Awareness

SDDOT Partners with AGC and Area Contractors to Engage Youth and Families in Work Zone Awareness

For Immediate Release:  Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Contact: Julie Stevenson, Strategic Communications Coordinator, 605-773-2898 

PIERRE, S.D. – Construction season is officially underway and to help raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in work zones, the Associated General Contractors of South Dakota (AGC) and the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) recently announced the winners for the annual work zone awareness billboard campaign. Students from across the state had the opportunity to create billboards with work zone safety messages.

“Our partnership with the AGC and area contractors focuses on the dangers of speeding or driving distracted in work areas,” says Joel Jundt, Secretary of Transportation. “We are excited to engage youth and their families to provide a fun, yet meaningful, visual reminder that everyone plays a role to keep drivers and workers safe.”  

The national award-winning billboard campaign, which is coordinated by AGC, gives 4th grade students the opportunity to create art designs to compete for a coveted billboard spot.

“What we look for is a work zone awareness message that is relatable for both students and their parents,” said Lindsay Willits, Deputy Executive Vice President for AGC.“The goal of the billboard contest is to remind motorists that safer driving habits mean safer work zones for everyone.”

Students with a winning entry, along with the classroom teacher, earn a cash prize.  At local press events held in May, the winning entries were revealed during student assemblies. The artwork of each of the four winners is now displayed on local community billboards. The 2021 winners and their teachers are noted below by city and elementary School.

Bridgewater/Emery - Bridgewater/Emery Elementary 
Student:  Mya Dye and Teacher:  Mary Ernster
Billboard Sponsor:  SFC Civil Constructors
Billboard location:  Interstate 90 near mile marker 364 

Pierre - St. Joseph’s Elementary
Student:  Allison DeMers and Teacher:  Becky Walsh
Billboard Sponsors:  Jensen Construction & Morris Inc.
Billboard location:  Corner of Highway 14/83 in Pierre/Fort Pierre 

Rapid City - St. Elizabeth Seton School  Student:  McKayla Schmidt and Teacher:  Krysia Kjerstad 
Billboard Sponsor:  Simon Contractors
Billboard location: Main Street (parallel to Halley Park in Rapid City)

Sioux Falls - St. Lambert Elementary  
Student:  Andrea Dvoracek and Teacher:  Tammy Lauer  
Billboard Sponsor:  BX-Civil and Construction
Billboard location:  Digital board - corner of 12th Street and Kiwanis in Sioux Falls

 While the billboard contest is a fun way to engage with young people about safety and construction-related careers, AGC and SDDOT reiterate the importance of the message that all motorists slow down, put down the phone or other items of distraction, and be aware of workers and equipment whendriving through work zones this summer.  Find additional 2021 billboard contest information and photos at

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