News Stories

FAA Issues $187M in Airport Infrastructure Grants - AAHSTO Journal 06/07/2024

The Federal Aviation Administration recently awarded $187 million worth of grants to 90 infrastructure projects at 90 airports across 34 states.

The projects are funded via the Airport Infrastructure Grants or AIG program to support improvements such as terminal expansions, baggage system upgrades, and runway safety enhancements.

“These grants not only invest in the physical infrastructure of our airports, but also in strengthening safety and improving efficiency for travelers, and help the economy thrive,” noted Shannetta Griffin, the FAA’s associate administrator for airports, in a statement.

This round of grant funding allows the award of $76.1 million to 45 airport-related infrastructure projects in 22 states via the AIG program in May and $148.3 million in AIG funds to 73 airport-related infrastructure projects in 28 states and Guam in April.

The AIG program – one of three aviation-focused funding initiatives created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA – provides about $15 billion in total funding over five years with $3 billion available annually. The other two airport-focused funding efforts overseen by the FAA include the Airport Terminal Program or ATP and the Airport Improvement Program or AIP.

State departments of transportation are supporting airport infrastructure throughout their respective regions via project funding initiatives and a variety of outreach efforts.

Joel Jundt. Photo by SDDOT.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation, for example, just launched a $10 million program approved by the state legislature to support airport terminal projects statewide.

“South Dakota Airport Terminal Program funds will play pivotal role in strengthening the aviation infrastructure and enhancing economic development in our state,” said Joel Jundt, South Dakota DOT’s secretary, in a statement. “The SDATP will help our airports meet growing demands and improve services for residents and visitors alike.”

The agency said SDATP funds are unique, as they are one-time appropriations distinct from the traditional Aeronautics Commission policies. Thus applicants must choose between using existing State Aeronautics Trust Funds or funds from the new SDATP their terminal projects, South Dakota DOT pointed out.

Meanwhile, the aeronautics group with the Arizona Department of Transportation named the Show Low Regional Airport as the state’s “Airport of the Year” for 2024. Show Low also won this designation in 2007.

The agency cited the northeastern Arizona airport’s work on a “Focused Planning Study,” scheduled for completion this year, to evaluate the viability of a new runway to better align with prevailing winds – a study that will also serve as a road map for an Environmental Assessment that will follow.

Additionally, Show Low upgraded the lighting on its primary runway to light emitting diodes or LEDs, replaced directional runway signage, acquired a striping machine to maintain airport markings, and began using a new software to better track operational data. The airport is also engaged in designing projects to build 10 additional aircraft hangars and add two large helicopter pads that will enhance regional firefighting capabilities.

Tech school students get ‘Build Dakota’ full-ride scholarships - Keloland 06/07/2024

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s no secret that South Dakota needs workers. More than a hundred and fifty young people who will fill some positions got good news today. They officially received scholarships to Southeast Technical College in Sioux Falls.

The Hub Auditorium at Southeast Tech was packed with 167 new students who signed on the dotted line. By committing to a field of study through the Build Dakota Scholarship fund, they are getting a free education.



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Millions learn road conditions through SD511 - Keloland 05/10/2024

Drivers in South Dakota are bound to run into bad weather or road construction at some point and when there are questions, they’ve been able to use the South Dakota 511 system.

A South Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) system has informed motorists about those conditions for 28 years. It was first called #SAFE when it started in 1996. In 2001, the state started the SD511 system or SDDOT511 when the nationwide 511 system started.

“We were really driven by this…we knew that we have adverse travel conditions in the state, especially during winter,” said Dave Huft, the intelligent transportation systems program manager for the SD DOT. “People need to know what they are getting into before they go and make an intelligent decision about whether it’s safe to travel or not. So that need has never changed.”

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SDDOT Recognizes Palmer, 40 Years Of Dedication - Ravellette Publications - 04/17/2024
What are the odds of an employee staying with the same employer for 40 years? Any takers on a bet like that these days?? Probably not! 
All bets aside, Jarvis Palmer recently celebrated 40 years with the South Dakota Department of Transportation at the Faith site, the most in the entire region.
Jarvis started this adventure in 1983 when he accepted a job with the SDDOT - Faith, with the title of Maintenance worker and a $4.00 an hour wage. Through the years Jarvis has moved up through the three positions of promotion and is currently the Lead at the Faith site where he supervises 3 employees (Boyd Stambach, Jesse King and Glenn Palmer).  Jarvis shares, “It’s a great place to work especially with a great crew.” 
When asked about the many changes Palmer has seen through the years; “Well, the equipment has come a long way over the years. When I started we had two single axle trucks each equipped with a fixed 6 ft. junior wing on the front and a Briggs & Stratton motor on the back to distribute sand on hills and curves. Now we have five tandem axle trucks with 8-10 ft. reversible wings on the front and hydraulic sanders. The improved equipment sure makes 250 - 400 miles a day when plowing roads more efficient.”
Joel Larson, Palmer’s Supervisor shares, “Jarvis has been the best employee, he takes his work very seriously. Jarvis never misses a day we plow. He always calls to discuss weather, road conditions and is ready to get the plows out. With 60 miles of highway between Faith and Bison, that kind of dedication is very greatly appreciated.”
Jarvis shares he is grateful for the years he has been with SDDOT.  “There have been a lot of times we have been able to help people out of a tight spot through the years and that’s satisfying. But, my favorite part of the job over the past 40 years has been working with good employees and all of the people I have met along the way.”

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Public discussion held for two-year construction project on I-90 interchange in Brandon - Dakota News Now 03/27/2024
SDDOT ‘Blizzard Bracket’ pits snow plow against snow plow in tournament format - Mitchell Republic 03/26/2024

PIERRE — Even if your favorite team has been eliminated from the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, you can still cheer on your favorite South Dakota Department of Transportation snow plow as it vies for supremacy in the 2024 Blizzard Bracket.

The tongue-in-cheek tournament pits 32 SDDOT snow plows against each other in a single-elimination tournament bracket, with the public voting on each matchup to decide which cleverly named plow advances to the next round. The 2024 tournament, which kicked off March 17, is at the Snowy Sixteen stage.

The bracket is a way to get out department messaging about winter travel safety as the last throes of winter 2023-24 begin to fade away.

“We wanted to get our winter messaging out, particularly on our road conditions and safe driving practices, so we were looking for a fun way to engage them on our social media and trying to get them to our sites where they can hopefully have a little fun,” said Craig Smith, director of operations for the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

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Keepings Roads Clear is a Prime Concern in Aberdeen - Dakota News Now 03/25/2024
SDDOT Talks Statewide Travel Conditions - Dakota News Now 03/25/2024


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Taking a look at Department of Transportation cameras across the Dakota News Now viewing area, you can see that conditions are quite different depending on which region you’re in, creating tricky situations for those on the roads.

SDDOT working diligently to keep 511 information updated for the traveling public - DRG News 02/12/2024
Operator likes plowing snow from South Dakota roadways - Keloland 12/18/2023

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The snow plow trucks were parked inside multiple garage bays in Sioux Falls on Monday morning, as if patiently waiting for any snow to arrive.

Unlike last year, those trucks could be waiting a while for a workout, although some winter weather could be on the horizon for parts of the state on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

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New York wants truckers' input on parking challenges, opportunities - Overdrive 12/14/2023
The New York State Department of Transportation is asking for feedback from truck drivers in the state to help determine areas where truck parking is needed. Truckers are asked to complete this survey, which asks respondents to pinpoint places on a map where they know of a truck parking need or issue, as well as areas where they think there are opportunities to expand truck parking.

Full Article Here
Fourth annual SDDOT Snowplow Naming Contest entry deadline is Thursday - DRG Media Group 11/28/2023

Thursday (Nov. 30, 2023) is the submission deadline for the South Dakota Department of Transportation’s 4th annual Snowplow Naming Contest.

Pierre Area Engineer Dean VanDeWiele says the snowplow contest is a fun, yet purposeful, way to interact with the public.

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Another milestone for Pierre-Fort Pierre bridge - Keloland 11/09/2023

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Another milestone has been made on the $49.9M Pierre-Fort Pierre bridge Thursday, November 9th. According to the Pierre/Fort Pierre Bridge Project, this bridge has graduated into phase two of four phases.

Crews began an elaborate process of pouring concrete for the bridge deck which requires several critical steps and continuous inspections. As you see in the slideshow, a calculated amount of water is sprayed on the deck and formwork. Next crews use a truck to “pump” the liquid concrete across the beams and entire bridge while distributing the weight evenly.

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South Dakota’s snowplow naming extravaganza ends Nov. 30 - KOTA - 11/24/2023

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Put your creative hat on. It’s time for the South Dakota Department of Transportation’s annual snowplow naming contest.

“Betty White-Out,” won the spot on a snowplow’s windshield for the Rapid City area in 2022. This statewide contest seems to bring out the ingeniousness of the area. In the 2022 statewide match-up, “West River Shiver” made it to the finals but fell to “Blizzard Buster” from the Mitchell region.

Be prepared for the winter weather with these reminders.

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Dakotas Snowplow Naming Contests in Full Swing - AASHTO Journal 11/03/2023
Snowplow naming contests are in full swing in both North and South Dakota this month. The North Dakota Department of Transportation said state residents can help name a snowplow via its 2023 ‘Name-A-Plow’ Contest through November 20. Meanwhile, the South Dakota Department of Transportation is accepting entries to its fourth annual snowplow naming contest through November 30.

“We hope people submit their best names and then download the ND Roads app so they can be up to date on winter weather in their area,” he added. “Making an effort to ‘know before you go’ will help keep our plow operators and other motorists safe this winter.” 

Joel Jundt, secretary of the South Dakota DOT, noted in a statement his agency will announce winning snowplow names for each of the 12 SDDOT geographic areas. He added that his agency took its snowplow naming contest to “another level” by adding a “Blizzard Bracket” held in March and April this year. The bracketing contest provided the agency with additional opportunities to promote winter safety messaging during the prolonged winter season.

“The 2022-2023 winter season was definitely one for the record-books,” Jundt said. “Our winter operations staff worked countless hours to remove snow in some of the toughest winter weather conditions experienced in recent years. The snowplow contest is a fun, yet purposeful, way to interact with the public to encourage usage of vital winter weather related resources like SD511.”

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SD’s winter highway plan approved just in time - Keloland 10/26/2023

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota’s first road closure of the winter season came Thursday morning on I-90 in the Wall area. A few hours later, so did approval of the state Department of Transportation’s winter highway maintenance plan.

The South Dakota Transportation Commission gave its official green light. Among changes, DOT will start officially closing some routes that aren’t interstate highways when weather warrants. There’s also a plan in the works to let counties and tribal governments list their road closures too on DOT’s statewide 511 system. And DOT’s website now has a special page devoted to winter storm information for travelers.

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South Dakota Railroad Board: $58.8MM Allocated Through STC Grant Program - Railway Age 10/25/2023

South Dakota Railroad Board: $58.8MM Allocated Through STC Grant Program

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor

“The STC grant funds are dedicated to provide the financial resources to improve South Dakota’s freight railroad infrastructure, which is vital to the continued growth and development of our economy,” said Joel Jundt, Secretary South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT).

South Dakota Railroad Board members on Oct. 18 approved grant request applications for several projects for use of the FY2022 and FY2023 allocation of Special Transportation Circumstances (STC) grant funds. The STC grant program is offered through the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Consolidated and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program to three states—South Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska—who do not have passenger rail. 

“The STC grant funds are dedicated to provide the financial resources to improve South Dakota’s freight railroad infrastructure, which is vital to the continued growth and development of our economy,” said South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT)Secretary Joel Jundt.

In this grant application cycle, $58.8 million was available for allocation. Approved STC grant applications and federal funding amounts include:

The Railroad Board also approved an amendment to the 2020 STC Meet and Pass grant for Ringneck and Western Railroad in the amount of $797,353 in STC funds.

Though the STC funds are non-competitive grants, projects must still meet eligibility requirements. The federal funding share for STC grants is not to exceed 80% of the project’s total cost. The SDDOT will file an STC grant request on behalf of the approved requests. Applicants selected for submittal of a STC grant application to FRA must provide a fully completed grant application to SDDOT by Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023. Upon grant approval by FRA, SDDOT will administer the approved grants.

Additional information about this round of STC Grant applications can be found here.

 

SDDOT is already prepared for possibility of snow - KEVN 10/25/2023

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - With the possibility of snow later this week, the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) is watching conditions to make sure they are prepared for any amount of snow we could accumulate.

Preparations for this started as early as the last snowfall last Spring.

This included resupplying materials, working on equipment, and making sure everything is running correctly.

“Our crew here does other tasks than plowing snow. So, right now were out mowing and mowing is a big part of our operation because we want to get the grass down low, so it doesn’t trap the snow which can cause and create drifts across our highways,” said Mike Carlson, SDDOT Rapid City area engineer.

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DOT report: Last winter cost $40.9 million - Keloland - 10/23/2023
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The winter of 2022-23 will be remembered for being long and expensive. According to the South Dakota Department of Transportation, the winter of 2022-23 cost more than $40 million – double the amount of money typically budgeted for the department’s winter maintenance plan. The state’s Transportation Commission will consider approving the 52-page 2023-24 winter maintenance plan on Wednesday.

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Rail board considers Sioux Falls overpass, Napa rebuild - Keloland 11/10/2023


PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Railroad Board listened to sales pitches Tuesday from project sponsors competing for grants from a federal program.

The board has $58.9 million available in what are called Special Transportation Circumstances grants, which the Federal Railroad Administration provides to states such as South Dakota that don’t have regular passenger-train service.

Contractor builds remote concrete plant to speed up I-90 reconstruction - Keloland - 08/29/23
Two Projects in South Dakota Win Regional America’s Transportation Awards - 07/31/2023
WESTERN BUILDER - Two South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) projects won regional awards in the 2023 America’s Transportation Awards competition, created by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The competition recognizes state departments of transportation (DOTs) for making a difference in their community, with each project falling into one of three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development, Operations Excellence, and Best Use of Technology & Innovation.

WATCH OR READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Eastbound Lanes on I-90 Near Sturgis to Open for Rally Traffic - 07/26/2023

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Interstate 90 near Sturgis is still under construction, but the eastbound lanes are expected to be open for the upcoming rally traffic.

This stretch of I-90 has been under construction all summer forcing cars into two-way traffic.

But with the rally approaching workers are pushing to make sure both sides of the interstate are open.

“We’ve had over 40 days that have been impacted by the weather on that project, however, the contractor and our personnel have done very well at working extremely hard, especially the last couple of weeks since it quit raining, getting back on track again so we’re pretty much on track as to getting the road open before the rally,” Mike Carlson, Department of Transportation area engineer said.


WATCH OR READ THE FULL STORY HERE
It's True, There are More Big Road Projects This Year - 07/26/2023

SIOUX FALLS (Sioux Falls Live) — It's not your imagination. There are more and bigger construction projects underway in the Sioux Falls metro this year than in the past. In fact, the volume of work is nearly three times as much as last year, said Harry Johnston, Sioux Falls area engineer for the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

“And in the next five years it’s only going to get busier,” Johnson said during an interview at the SDDOT area headquarters in northwest Sioux Falls, which is undergoing an expansion.



Department of Transportation prepares for another multi-day storm - Dakota News Now 04/04/2023

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - For the South Dakota Department of Transportation, it’s been a long winter.

As roadways like I-29 and I-90 closed on Monday and Tuesday, SDDOT snow plow drivers set out on their routes and began what will most likely be multiple days of 14-hour shifts pushing snow.

Across the state, DOT drivers have had plenty of hours logged so far this winter. For drivers in areas such as Pierre and Aberdeen, it’s only been a few days since they were last out clearing roadways from Friday’s snowfall.

Craig Smith, the Director of Operations for the South Dakota Department of Transportation, said this storm is accompanied by temperatures that hover just around freezing, but warmer temperatures make heavier snow.




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Rapid City weather closes airport, schools, offices - Keloland 04/04/2023

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — The snow isn’t stopping in Western KELOLAND and much of the state is under a blizzard warning. With road closures, slippery streets and blowing snow, law enforcement is urging everyone to stay off the roads.

Another week brings another snowstorm to the Black Hills.
The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office has reported several cars getting stuck and sliding off the road. But for the most part, people are staying home.



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View of the snow storm from DOT plow - Keloland 03/16/2023

SIOUX FALLS, S.D, (KELO) — Crews with the South Dakota Department of Transportation have been out working to clear the roads since this morning.

Curt Theisen with DOT has been out plowing roads all day. As you can see in this video it’s been a bumpy ride.



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SDDOT Doing I-29 Corridor Study - WNAX 3/15/2023
The South Dakota Department of Transportation is working on a multi-phased Interstate 29 corridor study in southeast South Dakota.
Steve Gramm is the planning squad leader for the project…..

Listen to the interview here
Jensen Builds 12 Drilled Shafts Completely Underwater for Pierre-Fort Pierre Bridge Project as Missouri River Elevation Fluctuatesm - Western Builder 02/2023
As Jensen Construction Company of Des Moines, Iowa, constructs the $49.99 million Pierre-Fort Pierre Bridge project in central South Dakota, “The biggest challenge is building the drilled shafts with the top of the shafts below water, as river elevations fluctuate 3 to 4 feet every day due to a hydroelectric dam just above the project,” said Ryan Cheeseman, Jensen’s Project Manager.

With the drilled shafts as deep as 135 feet, Jensen put in extra hours, fine-tuned processes, and adjusted their work schedule to accommodate the changing river elevation. They finished the last of the 12 drilled shafts in December 2022. As crews build the rest of the new structure, they continue dealing with the challenges – and some opportunities – of working just 10 feet north of the existing bridge.

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A look at South Dakota’s snowy roads from a plow’s perspective - News Center 1 02/23/2023

PENNINGTON COUNTY, S.D. — No winter storm is like another in South Dakota, and the South Dakota Department of Transportation has to adapt to a vast expanse of conditions.



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Group of 5 rescued from snow-covered highway - Keloland 02/23/2023

WEBSTER, S.D. (KELO) — Crews in Day County rescued five people who were stranded on a snow-covered highway. U.S. Highway 12 Thursday morning.

Photo from the South Dakota Highway Patrol

According to the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the vehicle was stuck on US 12 near mile marker 339 — west of Webster.

The group was able to be rescued by the Webster Police Department with the help of a DOT plow truck.

The Highway Department says the westbound lane on US 12 is drifted over and is impassible. Officials urge people to stay home today unless absolutely necessary.

Read the full article here

Plan ahead for interstate and highway closures across - KELOLAND 02/21/2023

SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) As road conditions worsen, Craig Smith with the South Dakota Department of Transportation says they are already closing parts of the interstate and expect more to come.

“We would expect we’re going to have some interstate closures both on Interstate 29 and Interstate 90 really throughout the state in the next two to three days,” Smith said.

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What the SDDOT wants you to know before you decide to travel - KOTA 02/21/2023


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -As we know, with extreme weather conditions comes treacherous driving conditions.

And that’s what the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) is anticipating with the upcoming snowstorm.

However, before you leave home, SDDOT suggests checking road conditions.

Depending on the conditions, a travel advisory warning could be issued. This warning means to not travel unless necessary. Roads could be icy, and there could be limited visibility.

Watch or read the full story here

Fort Pierre Bridge project slated for 2024 - Dakota News Now 02/09/2023


PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A major construction project in the heart of the state is nearing closer to completion. The Pierre-Ft. Pierre Bridge project will eventually replace the current John C. Waldron Memorial Bridge that connects the two cities over the Missouri River.

Spring 2022 derecho cost $2.8 billion, NOAA says. Some damage won’t be fixed until 2024 - South Dakota Searchlight 01/17/2023



Crews are still working to clean up damage months after the May 2022 derecho, which swept a roughly 100-mile-wide wall of dust and winds over 100 mph across South Dakota.

The derecho damage has a multi-state price tag of $2.8 billion, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information’s newly updated list of billion-dollar disaster events

High winds struck South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin, with 13 tornadoes impacting eastern South Dakota and 21 across Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota.

Read the full story here


Avera Medical Minute: Snow Plows Escort Pregnant Mom to Avera St. Mary’s - Dakota News Now 01/17/2023

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - In mid-December, Mary and Tanner Hilton of Pierre were getting ready to welcome their second child into the world.

Once Mary’s labor pains started, they encountered a slight problem.

“It was pretty white out at that point,” said Tanner. “I was reading all the broadcasts about how bad it was out and I wasn’t really sure how we were going to get to town.”

The day the Hilton’s new bundle of joy decided he was ready to make his grand entrance turned out to be one of the worst blizzards Pierre had seen in decades.



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“Hanson” snow plow honors late Webster DOT driver - Dakota News Now 01/10/2023

WEBSTER, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A Department of Transportation snow plow in Webster has a new name, and it wasn’t one chosen in a contest.

Todd Hanson began driving for the South Dakota Department of Transportation in Webster when he was just 18 years old. After a 35-year career, Hanson passed away in the spring of 2022 after battling colon cancer.

Those who worked with Hanson knew him as a man with a wealth of knowledge and experience, but he was never one to want the spotlight.

”Todd was a heck of a guy. He was a man of not too many words, so you better listen when he did talk,” said DOT Maintenance Worker Mark Besaw.

New bridge's date a tentative summer 2024 - Capital Journal 01/10/2023

The new Lt. Cmdr. John C. Waldron Memorial Bridge over the Missouri River is slowly but surely coming together.

Upcoming work this winter will include pile driving for the Fort Pierre-side abutment and erecting the structural steel girders.

“Concrete placing for the capitals at bent four is scheduled for later this week. The next items to be constructed will be the capitals at bent three and the caps at bents four and three,” according to the most recent bridge newsletter. “Due to winter weather, it was decided to wait until springtime to begin building the MSE walls on the Pierre side.”

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DOT: Storm made many roads impassable in southeast SD - Keloland 1/3/2022

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Tuesday’s massive winter storm has meant significant problems for any kind of travel on many roads.

“I know the calls I’ve been on this morning, we’ve had multiple snow plow trucks get stuck themselves out there,” said Craig Smith, director of operations with the South Dakota Department of Transportation.



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How does the DOT decide to close highways - Keloland 1/3/2022

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A portion of I-90 between Chamberlain and Humboldt remains closed Tuesday afternoon, with many other routes across the state designated with differing warnings and conditions. But how does the South Dakota DOT decide when a route should be closed?

“We do have a defined process,” said Craig Smith, DOT Director of Operations. “It’s a partnership with the Department of Public Safety, so between the Highway Patrol and the Department of Transportation — they make that final determination when interstate closures are needed.”



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South Dakota plow drivers rescue 50 people in mid-December snowstorm - Dakota News Now 1/2/2023

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The plow drivers across the state get behind the wheel to ensure the roads are driveable. Sometimes they go above and beyond.

“It’s not our job to rescue, but when we’re called upon, we go and do it,” says Jim Lolley, SD DOT Maintenance Supervisor in Murdo.

“To save these people they’ve never met before,” adds Jason Humphrey, SD DOT Pierre Region Engineer.

When a mid-December storm swept across the state, the hardest-hit areas needed to close. Lolley says once the interstates close, they check for vehicles.



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Weeks of brutal winter weather provide South Dakota plows season's first real test - Mitchell Republic 12/30/2022

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The South Dakota Department of Transportation is emerging from its first winter test, a two-week stretch of heavy snow, blinding winds and freezing temperatures that prompted rolling closures on the state’s main arteries and left at times thousands of motorists stalling in blizzard conditions.

“Visibility was so severe,” said Mike Carlson, the area engineer in the Rapid City region of the state Department of Transportation. “I hadn’t seen it this severe in 40 years.”

One day prior to Carlson’s Dec. 22 conversation with Forum News Service, the crew in the Rapid City area had gone late into the night with rescue efforts on I-90, where about 150 vehicles were backed up in traffic between New Underwood and Wall, according to Carlson.

Though the entire strip of the interstate from Rapid City to Chamberlain was not officially closed until around 6 p.m. on Dec. 21, Carlson said cars began to add behind two vehicles that had collided near New Underwood that morning, and the first stretch of interstate was closed around noon.. 

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SDDOT provides update on snow cleanup - Keloland 12/27/2022

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Snow on South Dakota’s roads has posed big problems for drivers this month. Craig Smith, director of operations with the South Dakota Department of Transportation, gave KELOLAND News on Tuesday afternoon an update on snow cleanup efforts.

“We definitely have a lot of drifting that needs to be pushed back along with a lot of roads that have ice and compacted snow,” Smith said. “Fortunately, we’ve got some warmer temperatures out there, so our chemicals, deicing chemicals will actually start working.”

Smith highlighted the central and northeastern parts of the state as sections where the most work remains...


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No travel advised across all of South Dakota - Keloland 12/22/2022

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The snow fall may mostly be gone from much of KELOLAND but the winds are causing ground blizzards. Visibility is affected in most of the state.

Shortly after noon Thursday, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety said no travel was advised for all of South Dakota. The DPS sent a public safety alert to smart phones.

Interstate 90 from Rapid City to Sioux Falls will close at 5 p.m. Thursday. I-90 from Rapid City to Chamberlain was closed on Wednesday.

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Interstate 90 is open in western KELOLAND, but drivers should still be cautious - Keloland 12/19/2022

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Snow removal crews across the state have been busy for days, and so have law enforcement agencies.

With heavy snow and whiteout conditions, Interstate 90 was nearly impossible to drive on just a few days ago… even for plows.

“A lot of people wanted to bypass the interstate, thinking it would be safer to go around but we had more problems over there and a lot of stranded people,” Sgt. Keith Carlson, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, said.

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DOT warns about illegal snow dumping - Keloland 12/19/2022

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Watch where you put the piles of snow. 

The South Dakota Department of Transportation sent a reminder to commercial snow removal operations and the public about the law regarding excess snow on highway right-of-way. 


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Interstates; open doesn’t mean clear - KELO 107.9 12/18/2022
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO.com) — Interstates in South Dakota opened Saturday. But the South Dakota Department of Transportation warns, open does not mean clear. The DOT says several sections of the interstates and most state highways are currently ice-covered, slippery, and have snow covered shoulders.

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Kansas Providing Nearly $41M For Local Bridge Projects - AASHTO 12/16/2022

...Meanwhile, in South Dakota, the Bridge Improvement Grants or BIG program – established in 2015 – sets aside $7 million per year from funds generated by license plate fees to repair and replace aging local bridges.

Local governments are required to pay a minimum of 20 percent matching funds and have three years to expend the grant, noted the South Dakota Department of Transportation, while counties must have a wheel tax and a five-year Highway and Bridge Improvement Plan to receive a grant.

“The BIG program continues to be crucial for the preservation, rehabilitation, and replacement of local government structures,” said Joel Jundt, secretary of the South Dakota DOT, in a statement.

“The goal [of this program] is to enhance the overall condition of these critical assets that South Dakotans are dependent upon each and every day,” he added. “These structures provide the link that drives the interconnectedness of our state’s overall transportation system; while enhancing statewide economic development overall.”

Read the full story here

No travel advised for most of KELOLAND - Keloland 12/16/2022

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As the winter storm enters its fifth day, no travel is advised due to blowing snow and slippery conditions on most South Dakota roads.

As of noon Friday, Interstate 90 remains closed from Mitchell to the Wyoming border, while Interstate 29 remains closed from Watertown to the North Dakota border. 

Craig Smith, Director of Operations with the South Dakota Department of Transportation, told KELOLAND News there was no estimate for when the interstates could reopen as winds and drifts have created many problems. 



Watch or read the full story here

"Longest Duration Snow Storm in 22 Years" SDDOT Mark Peterson talks Roads - KXLG 12/16/2022

The entire state of South Dakota was pounded by a massive winter storm dropping excessive amounts of snow across the state and making travel nearly impossible.

Mark Peterson, Aberdeen Region Engineer with the South Dakota Department of Transportation, has had crews working around the clock to keep the roads safe.

Peterson says a lot of roads are still closed…



Listen and read the full story here

DOT sends out rescue teams to bring stranded drivers to safety - Keloland 12/15/2022

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Department of Transportation crews are rescuing stranded drivers in KELOLAND. Tonight the roads are so dangerous that no travel is advised across much of South Dakota and both interstates remain partially closed.

But people are still driving even in the hardest-hit areas and some are getting stuck. Roads that appear to be drivable, quickly become impassable.



Watch or read the full story here

Snow and winds creating dangerous road conditions - Dakota News Now 12/15/2022

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Tough weather conditions have forced road closures and no-travel advisories for most of the state. Even in Sioux Falls, drivers were having a tough time Thursday with the snow and wind.

Although Sioux Falls has been spared from much of the blizzard conditions the rest of South Dakota has seen, it’s still a mess out on the roads according to SDDOT Area Engineer Harry Johnston.



Watch or read the full story here

Humphrey: People are getting restless, but roadways still aren’t safe for travel in parts of South Dakota - DRG News 12/15/2022
Accumulating snow and strong winds are causing visibility issues across central and western South Dakota today (Dec. 15, 2022) as a major winter storm continues its slow progress from west to east across the region... Read Full Article Here
SDDOT cautions drivers about shortcuts in storm - Keloland 12/15/2022

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As sections of Interstate 90 and Interstate 29 remain closed today, the South Dakota Department of Transportation has a reminder: Don’t use secondary highways as a shortcut or a bypass.

“Accumulating snow and strong winds caused the SDDOT to close sections on both I-29 and I-90,” Craig Smith, SDDOT Director of Operations said in a news release. “Motorists need to understand that while we cannot physically close secondary highways, in many cases these roads are in worse condition than the Interstates.”


Watch or read the full story here

Plow drivers continue to battle snowfall in Aberdeen - Dakota News Now 12/14/2022

ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - With snow in the forecast for the next several days, snow plow drivers have a few long days ahead of them.

Aberdeen received just over four inches of snow Tuesday, but there was a break in the precipitation Wednesday morning.

During that pause of the snowfall, plow drivers were out early to clear the roads in time for the morning traffic, but by the lunch hour, the snow had begun to come down again.



Watch or read the full story here

Several rescues underway in central South Dakota in the midst of a blinding snowstorm - Keloland 12/14/2022

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Department of Transportation crews were involved with several ongoing rescue operations Wednesday night in the midst of a massive winter storm.

Authorities say they’re having a huge issue with people using secondary highways as a way to avoid the Interstate closures.

But not everybody is heeding the warning and it’s putting lives in danger.



Watch or read the full story here

State Finals Snowfighter Roadeo tests skills, readies drivers for winter season - DRG News 10/13/2022
Department Of Transportation Snowfighter Roadeo Combining Training With Competition To Prepare For Winter - KCCR 10/12/2022
PIERRE — The official championship of South Dakota highway snow removal is taking place today in Pierre. The South Dakota Department of Transportation Snowfighter Roadeo will see 20 qualifying drivers from the four D-O-T regions compete in various skill challenges…Listen Here
DOT discusses future plans north of Huron - Huron Plainsman - 10/08/2022

HURON — A small group of interested landowners and residents met with the South Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) Tuesday evening at the Huron Event Center to discuss a proposed project on S.D. Hwy. 37 north of Huron.

Waylon Blasius of Banner Associates presented the information to the crowd as the design consultant for DOT on the project, currently slated for 2027. The project will entail removal and reconstruction of the highway from the intersection with S.D. Hwy. 28 at the north end of the project to Beadle County Road 14 on the south end of the project.

Read Full Article Here

Would you use a park and ride north of Sioux Falls? SDDOT wants to know - Keloland 07/25/2022
Officials plan solutions for accidents in front of Reptile Gardens - Rapid City Journal 07/22/2022
Final US 83 Project Underway to Update 68-Mile White River to Murdo Corridor in South Dakota 7/6/2022
South Dakota has demand for electric vehicles, but not the supply or energy grid 7/5/2022
S.D. rail panel reviews first-ever investment guide - Keloland News 6/16/2022

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Railroad Board got a look Wednesday at a draft version of an investment guide that it plans to start using for analyzing funding decisions.

The $548,569.67 contract between HDR Engineering of Omaha, Nebraska, and the state Department of Transportation calls for a new rail plan and an investment guide.

HDR project manager Catherine Dobbs described the investment guide as an internal-facing document for state government’s use that complements the outward-facing state rail plan — “Sort of brother-sister,” she said — and replaces the current informal decision-making process on investments.....

Read Full Article Here

“511 Day” celebrates service that keeps travelers informed and safe- Dakota News Now 5/11/2022
Diamonds are a driver’s best friend - Kelo 4/10/2022

Full Article Here: https://www.keloland.com/news/local-news/diamonds-are-a-drivers-best-friend/

Diamonds are a driver’s best friend

By Don Jorgensen – April 10 (10 p.m.)

 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — We’ve already told you about two major road construction projects in South Dakota that will have a big impact on drivers.

Crews have already started working on a Diverging Diamond Interchange in Rapid City and prep work has begun for one at 41st Street and Interstate 29.

But those two are just the beginning.

Although you might find them confusing at first, you better get used to Diverging Diamond Interchanges.

Diverging diamond intersections coming to Rapid City & Sioux Falls

The state transportation department says there are already two more in the works.

The next one will be here at Benson Road over I-229. The reason? Increased traffic.

“It actually has quite a bit of heavy traffic movement because of the business corridor that it does supply in order to go to work, you know the Sanford and different businesses right off Benson Road off of 229,” South Dakota Department of Transportation Area Engineer Harry Johnston said.

Construction on that one will start next year

The state’s fourth diverging diamond will be at the Brandon exit along Interstate 90.

“The need really arises from the heavy traffic movement during peak volume hours there’s a lot of traffic in the morning and in the evenings that enter and exit Brandon so those traffic volumes warrant this kind of interchange,” Johnston said.

Highway 18 project to close section of roadway

Construction on that one will start in 2024.

Safety is the main reason behind these diverging diamond interchanges – because Johnston says they reduce the number of ways vehicles can collide by almost half.

“It reduces that conflict movement where traffic that’s traveling doesn’t have to turn left across lanes of traffic where you travel on per say the wrong side of the road or the opposite side as you typically do you’ll be able to make a left turn movement freely without having to cross traffic so it’ll reduce that impact,” Johnston said.

Johnston says they should also reduce the amount of time you sit and wait at a stoplight.

If the state puts in an interchange at 85th and I-29 south of Sioux Falls, that one, too, will be a diverging diamond.

 

How does SDDOT choose a detour? Kelo 4/4/2022

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A detour can’t just be the shortest route around a construction zone.

It’s not that easy.

“It really depends on the type of job and location,” said Mark Peterson Aberdeen Region Engineer with the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT).

“There are different types of detours including over-width, over-height, and over-weight detours depending on.... Continue reading the full article. 

Life Is A Highway For New DOT Engineer
Snowplows don’t hit highway speeds during storms, but the safest place to be is behind them
Snow way it’s staying on the highway, how the plows predict the future
DOT Monitors Weather, Predicts Highway Needs

(click to view full article)
Snowplow Brings Blizzard Of Memories – Yankton News

Snowplow Brings Blizzard Of Memories

Yankton News BY RANDY DOCKENDORF randy.dockendorf@yankton.net


WAKONDA — When the South Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) displayed a snowplow at her school, teacher Tina Lee saw more than a massive piece of equipment.

The Irene-Wakonda instructor watched her pre-schoolers marvel at the snowplow’s size and power. The DOT brought the plow to the Wakonda and Centerville schools as part of the Walk to School safety program and the “Name The Snowplow” contest.

But for Lee, the display brought a blizzard of memories surrounding her late father, Richard “Dick” Slowey, who worked decades for the DOT. Slowey, who passed away in September, first worked in Irene and then Yankton.

For Lee, the DOT visit offered closure after recently losing her father. The snowplow also symbolized his dedication to keeping others safe during miserable and even dangerous weather. The family connection continued another way as her husband, Kim, formerly worked for the DOT.

“For me, the (school) visit was very personal. My dad just passed away, and this brought back many good memories. It was just kind of a final farewell to him,” Lee said.

“The kids in my class knew my dad did that (machinery operation) for his work. When they could actually see the snowplow, it was just a great connection between my dad and them.”

Lee described the DOT’s visit to the Wakonda elementary school as a humbling experience for her. She used it as a teachable moment, telling her students not only about her own father but also the important work that all highway workers perform during their daily duties.

“Because they are so young, I kept it simple for the kids in my class,” she said. “I was able to tell them my dad worked for the DOT. He had to get up early (during threatening weather) because he had to get out on the roads while it was still snowing. He would plow the snow off the road so … we are riding on safe roads.”

In her story, Lee used the example of the students’ own parents heading to work or trying to take the children to school during bad weather. In either case, the DOT workers and others were working to make travel possible for everyone.

“The kids recognize the snowplow operator as someone who is helping them out, and they can make that connection with my dad and others who serve us,” Lee said.

——

Thanks to a new DOT contest, the recent visitor to the area schools had a name — Frosty the Snowplow.

Last winter, the DOT rolled out the first-ever Name the Snowplow Contest. People in each DOT region were invited to submit their names for the 12 snowplows that cleared the state’s highway system.

In the Yankton region, a Beresford student submitted the winning “Frosty The Snowplow” name. The second annual naming contest is underway and runs through Nov. 30. In December, the SDDOT will announce one officially named snowplow within each of the 12 SDDOT areas.

“The contest was designed to engage people across the state with the SDDOT in a creative way,” said Transportation Secretary Joel Jundt. “Safety on our roadways is our number-one priority, and snowplow operation and winter driving awareness are vital to keeping people safe.”

The snowplows had previously made appearances at Yankton schools, according to Tanya Liska with the DOT office in Yankton. This time, the plows were taken to the two area communities as part of “Walk To School Day,” she said.

The program promotes safety of all types, including walking, bicycling and watching for cars, Liska said. The students also receive safety items such as bicycle lights, helmet lights and slot bracelets that reflected and illuminated the pedestrian or rider.

During the recent DOT visit, the students had the opportunity to inspect and even get into the snowplow for a hands-on experience, Lee said.

“Because my pre-school students are littler, everything seems so big to them,” she said. “Here, they have this big piece of equipment. They could get into the seat and see things up high. They also saw the parts with the sand and salt mixtures.”

In addition, the DOT brought a safety message covering everything from using crosswalks to watching out for vehicles. The students also learned the meaning of lights, sirens and other methods of alerting the public about a dangerous situation and the need for first responders to move quickly.

Also, the youngsters learned about the importance of giving snowplow operators enough room on the road for their work and safety, Lee said.

The snowplow operators make many sacrifices in order to serve others, Lee said.

——

“I just remember it was sometimes hard for our family,” she said. “He missed a lot of my younger brother’s activities and Christmases with the family because he was called out to work during a snowstorm. He also had to sand a lot (on the highways).”

According to his obituary, Slowey grew up in the Irene area and returned after the military to live in his home area for 25 year.

When he was promoted to foreman, he moved to Yankton, where he resided for the past 29 years. In his role as foreman, Slowey arrived first at the shop during a storm to determine the weather and road conditions before assigning roads to his crew members, Lee said.

“They would go in before a snowstorm and sleep on cots at the shop if they knew they would be needed for a three-day blizzard,” she said. “They had to take their lunches so they had food while they were gone (on duty) and were separated from their families.”

But snow wasn’t the only challenge facing the highway crews, Lee said.

“When the Jim River was flooded and they had to close the roads, Dad and the others had to stay out in their vehicles (during the flooding) to make sure everyone was all right when there was water over the bridge.”

While Slowey made sacrifices, he also received a great deal of appreciation from those whose lives relied on him and other highway workers.

“He got a lot of ‘thank-you’s’ from people in the Irene area. He always made sure that Highways 46 and 81 were cleared and they never had to worry about the icy or snowy roads,” Lee said.

“They would say, ‘We know that Dick Slowey always has our back,’ and they always felt like he treated them well.”

——

As part of the “Name The Snowplow” contest, SDDOT has created snowplow and winter driving weather awareness coloring sheets, crossword puzzles and word finds for families and classrooms. Materials are available for download at https://dot.sd.gov/media/SDDOTKids%20ActivitiesBook.pdf.

For more information and to submit a name, visit the SDDOT website at SDDOT Snowplow Naming Contest - South Dakota Department of Transportation.

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DRG News Work Zone Awareness Week Billboard Contest

Student at St. Joseph’s Elementary School in Pierre among winners of statewide work zone safety billboard contest

Pierre, SD, USA / DRGNews

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 and the South Dakota Department of Transportation 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.

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

Photo credit South Dakota Department of Transportation.

Photo credit South Dakota Department of Transportation.

Photo credit South Dakota Department of Transportation.

Photo credit South Dakota Department of Transportation.

 

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

Image credit South Dakota Department of Transportation.

 

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)

Photo credit South Dakota Department of Transportation.

 

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

Photo credit South Dakota Department of Transportation.

 

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 when driving through work zones this summer. 

Mitchell Republic - Repairs coming to Chamberlain’s "really rough" King Street

The South Dakota Department of Transportation is preparing to improve several miles of King Street in Chamberlain this summer.

The portion of road due for repairs, which stretches from the intersection of the street with Interstate 90 to the railroad bridge on the east side of Chamberlain, has been in need of repairs for some time, said Jay Peppel, the Mitchell Area Engineer for the SDDOT Mitchell Regional Office.

The regrading and widening project will be the largest road construction project for the SDDOT in the Chamberlain area this year, Peppel said, and it is expected to bring a higher level of driving quality and safety to an important section of road. While the work may cause some inconvenience at times, Peppel asked that drivers be patient with workers as they aim to complete the project.

“Just be cautious of the construction, and just be safe,” Peppel urged area drivers.

To read the entire story:  https://www.mitchellrepublic.com/news/traffic-and-construction/7027983-Repairs-coming-to-Chamberlain%E2%80%99s-really-rough-King-Street

From resurfacing roads to preventing ice jams: 6 road projects South Dakotans should know about

From resurfacing roads to preventing ice jams: 6 road projects South Dakotans should know about

Joe Sneve

Sioux Falls Argus Leader

 

The COVID-19 pandemic stalled South Dakota highway work for a time last spring, but that didn't stop the state transportation department from completing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of road construction projects.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation each year budgets about $600 million for road work all across the state's 7,800 centerline miles of road, with projects ranging from patching and overlaying highways to completely rebuilding them. Safety enhancements on existing roads also get a share of those funds.

The Argus Leader this week talked with officials at the DOT about the major projects wrapped up last year and why those investments were made. Here's the run down.

Nearly a billion pounds of asphalt in Belle Fourche area

Over in the Belle Fourche area, the DOT used 433,000 tons of asphalt hot mix to resurface 130 miles of roads.

The bulk of that work entailed 41 miles of US Highway 212 and 49 miles of US Highway 85, north of Belle Fourche.

Mike Behm, the DOT's director of planning and engineering, said resurfacing a road with an asphalt overlay can extend the overall life of a road and stave off more expensive reconstruction projects.

"It's pay me now or pay me later," he said. 

'Huge effort' in Sioux Falls

Veterans Parkway

Last year marked the connection of Interstate 90 to Veterans Parkway, the express route in eastern Sioux Falls that's been in the works for nearly a decade. 

Work started on the Veterans Parkway project in 2008 and has spanned the 7.5 miles between 57th Street and South Dakota's only east-west interstate system.

"The biggest one that we finished was the Veterans Parkway connection," Behm said. "It was really a huge effort, huge partnership with the city of Sioux Falls, Brandon and the counties."

The new highway, which partially runs along what used to be referred to as Highway 11 and Powder House Road, cost more than $121 million is expected to ease congestion on I-229 and spur new industrial activity in northeast Sioux Falls and Brandon.

Curbing curve danger

Curbing Curve Danger

South Dakota's DOT was the first in the country to begin using what's called a "high friction surface treatment" to prevent winter weather crashes in spot areas. And last season 10 highway curves with a high rate of winter crashes in the Black Hills were applied with the epoxy and bauxite rock chips that make a road surfaces less slippery during snow events.

In all, 30 curves got the treatment, running the state about $1.3 for the materials and work.

The use of high friction surface treatment started in more southern states where it was used to keep vehicles from hydroplaning during heavy rains. That caught the attention of the South Dakota DOT a few years ago, and they quickly began testing its effectiveness for winter driving on Interstate 229 along the curve between the 18th Street overpass and the 26th Street interchange.

Behm said that resulted in a 80% drop in crashes during snow events there.   

"Our goal is getting everybody home and healthy every day," he said. "So we’re always looking for improvements that may not be rebuilding a highway but helping some of those behavior aspects."

Smoothing roads and drainage

A stretch of US Highway 14 near Ft. Pierre got a makeover with a $6.6 million project that saw construction span nearly 13 miles of road.

According to the DOT's latest road project report, three box culverts and nine pipe culverts were replaced, more than 30 other culverts were cleaned and repaired and 35,000 tons of asphalt concrete was laid west of Ft. Pierre.

Preventing ice jams 

Preventing Ice Jams

Among the largest projects tackled by the DOT of late, the reconstruction of US Highway 83 between Murdo and White River isn't quite complete yet.

So far, crews have reconstructed and resurfaced three new bridges, including one over the White River that was designed to prevent flooding during springtime ice jams. The new highway will be smoother and flatter and include wider shoulders to benefit safety and drivers' comfort, according to the report.

In all, it's a $60 million project that spans 23 miles. Work is expected to continue through 2022.

Overhaul in Brookings

Brookings

The Ft. Pierre-area project wasn't the only work done to US Highway 14 last year. Another multi-year project along the highway where it's locally known as 6th Street saw not only total road reconstruction, but also drainage improvements and storm sewer upgrades.

A $4.8 million expense for the state, the project also required a lot of cooperation with the Brookings County and the city of Brookings, Behm said.

"There’s a big community connection in all the projects we do," he said. "There are a lot of public meetings, landowner meetings and what the future of the transportation needs will be in the area."

Eye on KELOland - Pierre/Ft. Pierre Bridge
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KELOLAND - Trains do more than hold up traffic in South Dakota

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