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Russell Street To Be Six Lanes

October 1, 2012, 5:02 PM by Brady Mallory

Russell Street To Be Six Lanes
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Between fixing MacBooks and iPads, Ted Langely does not call his job at Mac Doctors work.

"It's like playing with toys every day," Langely said.

This general manager does not call the upcoming road construction in front of the business a bad thing.  Starting in the spring of 2013, city officials will begin widening Russell Street in Sioux Falls.  Workers will add a lane of traffic on each side, expanding inward toward the median, resulting in a six-lane street.

"It shouldn't affect things too much.  We've got a frontage road in front of our business, so people should have access from that frontage road to come into our shop," Langely said.

The nearly two-year reconstruction project will go from just west of the river to just west of Minnesota Avenue.  Just as construction on a $115 million events center is in the early stages, widening Russell now could help with expected increases in traffic. Upgrading Russell could cost the city, state and federal governments about $25 million.  The cost is up from an original estimate of less than $20 million.  Project Manager Dena Knutson said rising construction costs and bedrock are the underlying reasons.

"The bedrock, we had an idea that it was there, but soil borings aren't typically done until later in the design process, so we know exactly where we're going and what we are doing.  It was found in a timely manner." Knutson said.

Workers will blast through the bedrock to make room for new sewer system. 

"Right now Russell is very flat, so the installation of the storm sewer is necessary to get rid of surface water," Knutson said.

Knutson said they will keep traffic going through most of the project, which is expected to be done in the fall of 2014.  It will also bring extra bike lanes to the area.  When the project is done, and each direction has three lanes of traffic, Langely says work should be even more fun.

"More people will be able to use Russell.  The more people on Russell, the more people that see us," Langely said.

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