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Overnight Construction Helping To Get Ahead

May 2, 2012, 6:57 AM by Kellee Azar

Overnight Construction Helping To Get Ahead

Construction is a tough job day or night. The South Dakota Department of Transportation is trying to make it a little bit easier on everyone by getting a good portion of a project done during a specific time of the day.

With the number of construction projects in KELOLAND, getting some of it done when most of are sleeping has been an effective change.

"Most of those overpasses as well as I-229, the traffic on them is quite heavy, especially during those peak hours so if we are able to get some of that work done on I-229 and avoid some of that traffic and the congestion the work causes," Area Engineer with the SD Department of Transportation Craig Smith said.

With any work zone, safety is always a concern even at night.

"Any time, whether it's night or day, road constructions are an area that people need to pay attention to their environment there; be focused on the driving, not what's happening in the work zones, not what you might be doing on your cell," Smith said.

For workers in the zone, working at night is a catch-22.

"It's kind of a double edged sword so your traffic is decreased substantially but you have your equipment managers; they have to be on point and know where all personnel is at all times," project engineer Mike Heiberger said.

By staying on point it has allowed much of the construction to get done early and soon they will be moving into a phase that requires daylight.

"We are going to move into some of those stages with where we will have to do some during the daytime with lane closures.  We will be getting into that in the middle of May or so.  But right now the work they are doing we can do at night," Smith said.

For the overpasses, the construction was originally expected to be finished by October.  But now it seems because of the good weather they are about 2 month ahead of schedule and expect to be done in August.

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