SIOUX FALLS, SD -
It's been eight years since an agreement was made to construct Highway 100 and it's now receiving a new level of attention from the city of Sioux Falls and the state.
Highway 100 is a partially-completed stretch of road that is expected to connect I-90 and I-29, similar to the role of I-229. That project has been dealing with significant bumps in the road, but a new agreement may help in its completion.
"In some of the old, original aerials, no development was really a mile to the west of I-229 and now it's several miles east. SD 100 will potentially do the same thing, if not more for generations to come," Director of Public Works Mark Cotter said.
Connecting I-90 and I-29 was the ultimate goal, but the project met snags as construction began. First came the issue of available funds from the federal level.
"When the safety bill was expiring, they rescinded $102 million from the State of South Dakota, so the money that was there on the books, in essence, that money got wiped out clean," South Dakota Department of Transportation Chief Engineer Joel Jundt said.
To compound the issue, the price of the entire project sky-rocketed.
"It was originally estimated at about $72 million. Today's construction costs that we estimate to complete it will surpass $200 million," Cotter said.
Now, the city and state plan to renew their commitment to finishing Highway 100, with an estimated completion date around 2018. The plan is also to have the state fund the construction and turn ownership of the road over to the city when it is done.
"To get the state out of your local roads, state highways, this orridor, as shown and proposed, it really will function more as a city street and not as a state highway," Jundt said.
The city council needed no further convincing as the agreement was passed 6-0.
The difficult part of the project will be connecting the road to I-90, which should be a two-year process. That should be done by 2018. At that point, Highway 100, as it was originally imagined, will be complete.
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