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Looking At Possible Changes For SF Intersection

January 15, 2014, 6:03 PM by Brady Mallory

Looking At Possible Changes For SF Intersection
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Backed-up traffic lines, long commutes and waiting for trains are some of the challenges you can experience on your drive near 26th Street and Southeastern Avenue in Sioux Falls. 

"It always happens.  When the trains come any time, you know, even during rush hour.  So, sometimes you'll sit there for ten minutes for a train and another two or three stop lights while you're sitting at the top of the hill, waiting to come down," Lyle Gacke, owner of Bagel Boy on 26th Street, said.  

City leaders have been studying this intersection for years, and now they have narrowed it down to two plans they say will alleviate traffic congestion in the area. 

"That's the number one thing people always talk about is how can I get north and south, east and west, in a reasonable amount of time," Chad Huwe, Sioux Falls City Engineer, said.

Huwe said one proposal would raise Southeastern Avenue and shift it slightly to the west.  This would allow room for an access road for nearby businesses, and would only require the City to buy one piece of property.  The other plan would raise the road in the same spot it is now, leaving Southeastern Avenue where it is at.  Both ideas would raise the roads over the tracks.  

"You have certain east, west, north, and south corridors that have to move traffic safely and efficiently, and this is just one of those corridors that we need more capacity  and needs to run more efficiently," Huwe said.

There is a third option to not do any work at all.  City and state leaders have also been eyeing the I-229 interchange for a revamp.  Both ideas were discussed at a public meeting on Wednesday at John Harris Elementary School.  

As a business owner, Gacke would like to see something done to help his customers..because a quick commute across town for many of us is important all day, every day.

"If you're trying to turn left, you might as well wait for ten minutes," Gacke said.

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