BROOKINGS – The South Dakota Department of Transportation will begin work on the $17 million Highway 14 project – spanning from 22nd Avenue to 34th Avenue – on March 20.
Expect slower traffic and detours in the work zone until November, with some of the roadwork lasting until June 2018.
A public meeting for the multi-phase project has been scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, March 20, in the third-floor chambers of the Brookings City & County Government Center to provide a project overview and schedule of work progression.
The project would stretch from a point between 20th and 22nd avenues on the west end and continue over to 34th Avenue on the east end.
At 22nd Avenue, the intersection will be widened “in its entirety,” according to DOT engineer John Rittershaus, so workers will need to go a bit west along Highway 14 to transition into the wider intersection. When they get beyond 34th Avenue, they’ll transition back to the existing roadway.
The main feature of the project is the construction of a new five-lane bridge over Interstate 29 complete with sidewalk and decorative streetlights and landscaping where feasible.
The new I-29 bridge and the widened intersection are far from the only parts of the build. Other planned improvements include new surfacing, curb and gutter, storm sewer, sidewalk, traffic signals, other intersection improvements, roadway lighting and city utility work.
The state will pay for almost the entire project, $16.35 million of the $17 million. The city would contribute the remaining $650,000.
It’ll be a four-phase project, starting with Phase 0, which covers the considerable amount of prep work ahead of the actual project. Expected to commence March 20, this includes putting in temporary traffic signals throughout the project site and detour routes, putting up traffic barrier installations, and temporary surfacing treatments at entrances and intersections as well as asphalt strengthening and overlays on Minnesota Drive for detour traffic.
Phase 1 will see traffic on Sixth Street move into the eastbound lane to allow work on the westbound lanes. Similarly for I-29 itself, traffic heading north would be routed to one of I-29’s southbound lanes. The reverse of this would be done later in the project, in both cases so the I-29 bridge can be removed and replaced.
The northbound on-ramp and the southbound off-ramp at I-29 exit 132 would also be removed and reconstructed at this time; from the moment those on- and off-ramps are closed, crews have 21 days to finish their work.
Also as part of Phase 1, the reconstruction of the 22nd Avenue intersection would begin May 8 with the intersection’s closure until work is completed. The intersection will be widened to have seven lanes with dual left-turn lanes.
At this time, utility upgrades and installations would also occur. Contractors have until Aug. 11 to complete their work there.
In Phase 2, the reverse of the work of Phase 1 is done, with traffic being routed over the newly finished portions of the road and I-29 bridge and ramps to begin the removal and replacement of the older sections.
On Sixth Street, traffic would be on the new westbound lane to allow work on the eastbound lane, and the eastbound part of the I-29 bridge would be removed and replaced, as would the southbound on-ramp and northbound off-ramp at the I-29 Exit 132.
Phase 3, detours
Phase 3 would wrap up the finer parts of the project, such as the completion of the proposed median pavement, curb and gutter work, work on sidewalks and service roads not done in Phases 1 and 2.
Through all this, through-traffic and extra-wide traffic will be detoured to I-29 and the Highway 14 bypass. During the 22nd Avenue intersection work, local traffic will be detoured onto State Avenue and Sunrise Ridge Road from the south and Ninth Street and Sunrise Ridge Road from the north. No parking would be permitted along the detour routes for the duration of the roadwork.
Drivers needing to access the industrial park area are encouraged to use the Highway 14 bypass and 34th Ave. and to consider extra travel time when using those routes.
A series of speed reductions will be enforced, including 45 mph on the Highway 14 bypass along the detour route. Through the project limits on Sixth Street, speed will be reduced to 30 mph, and I-29 traffic speed will be reduced to 65 mph through the bridge construction limits just north and south of Exit 132.
Special business signs will be installed along the detour routes to help guide traffic to local businesses affected by the roadwork.
It’s expected that the first three phases would be completed by the end of the year, Nov. 3, 2017. The expected overall field completion date is June 30, 2018.
The public is invited to attend weekly meetings to discuss progress on the project. Meetings will be held at 9 a.m. every Thursday at the Department of Transportation building located at 2131 34th Ave., Brookings.
More information on the phases and the corresponding work can be found at http://www.sddot.com/travelers/projects/6thStBrkgs/default.aspx.
Contractors and subcontractors hired onto the project are:
• BX Civil & Construction, Inc., of Dell Rapids, as prime/concrete contractor
• SFC Journey Group, of Sioux Falls, as structure contractor
• Bowes Construction, of Brookings, as grading/base/asphalt contractor
• Winters Brothers Underground, of Sioux Falls, as underground contractor
• Construction Signing Corp., of Sioux Falls, as traffic control contractor
• Muth Electric, Mitchell, as lighting contractor
• Banner Associates, Inc., of Brookings, as staking contractor
• National Sealant, of Oconto, Wis., as sealing contractor