A big chunk of one of the busiest streets in South Dakota will be closed starting Thursday.
Minnesota Avenue will be shut down from the I-229 on and off ramps to Lotta Street. It's part of an ongoing $6.3 million project to replace more than a mile of sewer lines. But the timing of the Minnesota Avenue phase was intentional.
The wheels keep on turning down Minnesota Avenue. But a huge roadblock will bring thousands of cars to a halt Thursday morning at 9 a.m.
"This closure is going to displace about 20,000 vehicles per day," Sioux Falls city engineer Chad Huwe said. "The other streets in this area are going to be busier. There's going to be more congestion during the peak p.m. and a.m. hours."
Huwe says the project should only last 11 days. In fact, that timeline is set in stone for a good reason.
"If the contractor completes the work by Monday morning, August 20, at 6 a.m., they will receive a $10,000 incentive payment," Huwe said.
Construction crews will be replacing the sewer lines underneath Minnesota Avenue. And while it's a busy time of year for the road, the city thought long and hard about when exactly to do the project.
"School starts August 20," Huwe said. "So, we always kind of said August 20 would be our drop dead date."
Huwe says detour routes can be used on 57th Street, Western Avenue and 41st Street. And while he knows construction is an inconvenience, it's all part of a plan to prevent these long projects in the future.
"I know the installation of this sewer pipe is going to be a disruption," Huwe said. "But the reality is this critical infrastructure is going to serve the city of Sioux Falls for the next 50 years."
If work isn't complete by August 20, Huwe says crews will actually be fined $300 for each additional hour they work. He suggests drivers who use that route on their normal commute allow 15 extra minutes during the closure.
The City of Sioux Falls has construction projects in progress on several of the city's main thoroughfares. This map shows the locations of some that may slow or change your commute.
View Current Construction Projects in a larger map