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Construction Hampers Downtown Commuters

October 1, 2012, 5:59 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Construction Hampers Downtown Commuters

Construction projects are wrapping up as the fall colors show their faces. But that doesn't mean the headaches are over. A major corner on a busy route across town is very tight these days.

“But now once it's on the left side, it's harder to figure out which lane. It's a tighter squeeze. And the people are pulling up,” driver Kelsey Halstead said.

Halstead takes 14th Street across Sioux Falls almost every day. She sees it change nearly just as much. But it's not just the drivers here.

“You just have to pay attention because people are on their cell phones,” Manuel Nolasco, who walks near the intersection every day, said.

Nolasco has his own physical barriers already. Each day, he crosses those set up by road construction crews.

“We have to put up with our safety all the time, so it's pretty hard,” Nolasco said.

Crunched cones are standing all around the 14th Street and Minnesota Avenue intersection. They show just how tight the turns are.

“When I swerved back through, I hit a cone. I was like, 'Ugh that's not good,'” Halstead said. “You're all the sudden in the wrong lane. Thankfully, the cones are far enough apart. I could squeeze in between.”

Construction has tied up the intersection since July. Workers are now on the second and final phase. Work includes water main upgrades, concrete repairs and additional left turn lanes at the Minnesota Avenue and Phillips Avenue intersections.

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