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July 27, 2010 05:51 PM

Drivers Cutting Corners During Construction


A construction project in southern Sioux Falls has some drivers slamming their brakes and city engineers sending out a warning.
  Crews are rebuilding 57th Street between Minnesota Avenue and Pennbrook Avenue. Since the road closed in April, drivers have been finding their own ways around the detour.  

Every day, Steve Parezo walks, works and drives along Minnesota Avenue near Ralph Rogers Road. But lately, he's noticing this intersection is getting a little treacherous for travel.

"With no turning lane there, it was a problem to begin with. Now it's just compounded," Parezo said.

Traffic is backing up along a bend in Minnesota Avenue, as drivers brake to take shortcuts around construction. And the sudden stops are catching some drivers off guard.

"If you're not paying attention at this intersection, they're in trouble," Parezo said. 

Drivers who head north on Minnesota Avenue are being joined by detoured traffic coming from 69th Street. As a result, Minnesota is backing up at 57th Street. So, instead of waiting to turn left onto 57th Street, Minnesota Avenue drivers are taking residential Ralph Rogers Road instead. It dumps them off at Western Avenue.

To make the situation worse, Parezo says drivers are traveling well above the speed limit through the neighborhood, putting several nearby families in danger.

It's one of several reasons why Sioux Falls Traffic Engineer Dallas Hofer doesn't recommend drivers to take residential areas as detours. Instead, he says drivers should stay their course on the main routes, and be careful in the process.

"Drivers have to be more cautious and to expect that a car, in fact, could be slowing down to make a left," Hofer said.

And do whatever you can to make things right again. 

Hofer also says traffic engineers have worked to ensure the green lights at Minnesota Avenue and 57th Street are working to keep congestion to a minimum.

And there have long been signs that reminded drivers of sudden turns near Ralph Rogers.

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