SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The city of Sioux Falls will have nearly $197 million in road construction designed to improve conditions for the future while slowing down traffic for the present.

Be prepared for some one-lane sections of streets on projects in high volume traffic areas this spring and summer, and for some projects, there will be closures, including on side streets.

“There will be a lot of impact all over town,” said city engineer Brad Ludens. Ludens and Andy Berg of the city’s public works department shared a construction plan during Wednesday’s media briefing.

One lane sections of traffic in each direction will happen at different times during construction on three projects high traffic volume areas.

Construction is expected to start in May on 6th Street from I-229 to Sycamore Avenue. This is an estimated $3.3 million project.

The western part of the project will get concrete repairs and overlays while the eastern part will get full depth and partial depth concrete repairs. One lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction at all times.

“Some side streets will need to be closed during the construction,” Ludens said.

6th Street between Bahnson and Sycamore had an average daily traffic count of 11,500 in 2022, according to city data.

The 6th Street from I-229 to Sycamore Avenue is scheduled to be completed in October.

Construction on Cliff Avenue from 11th Street to 26th Street should start in June.

This asphalt overlay project should last a month. One lane of traffic in both directions will be maintained during the construction. Some side streets will be closed. This is a $2.2 million project.

26th Street will also part of an estimated $2.5 million project from Cleveland Avenue to Alpine Avenue.

The project includes making concrete repairs ahead of an asphalt overlay, Ludens said.

Thirty eight accessible curb ramps will be reconstructed to meet current standards.

One lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained during the project. Some side streets will need to be closed.

This work is scheduled to start in late June or early July with completion in the fall.

Roads closed ahead, detours set

The city will close Cliff Avenue and 85th Street to reconstruct and widen Cliff Avenue from just north of 85th Street to just south of 90th Street.

Cliff and 85th will become four-lane streets at this point with a raised center median and turn lanes.

Work is expected to start on April 3, weather permitting. This is a $4.1 million project.

The schedule “was purposely set to be completed before school starts,” Ludens said.

The construction area is near the site of the new Harrisburg freshman academy school.

Cliff Avenue traffic will be directed to Minnesota Avenue in a detour. 85th Street traffic will be directed to 69th Street in a detour.

“We realize some local residents may take alternative routes,” Ludens said. But the detour routes are chosen because they can handle the traffic load, he said.

The city will monitor roads that may be used as alternative routes and take any maintenance action as needed, Ludens said.

6th Street will be closed during construction of Unity Bridge. The vehicle traffic will continue to be directed to 8th Street.

The bridge is under construction and so is about 900 feet of 6th Street east to Weber Avenue.

The $21.8 million project started in mid-February and is expected to be completed in 2024.

Triple-left turn lane on Benson; what’s up with Arrowhead, Veterans

The Benson Road and I-229 interchange project will create the city’s first triple left-turn lane. Construction will begin Monday, March 27. The outside, eastbound lane of East Benson Road will be closed between Casco Avenue and St. Paul Avenue. The contractor will be placing in electrical utility lines. . Drivers are urged to reduce speeds and use caution in the construction zone. You may want to consider finding alternate routes. Anticipated completion of this construction phase is approximately two weeks.

The triple left-turn lane will be from the I-299 northbound off ramp onto westbound Benson Road. Benson road will be expanded to three lanes in each direction west of I-229 and two lanes in each direction east of I-229. This project will also be the city’s second diverging diamond interchange.

The project will require some closures of the on and off ramps and one lane traffic. One lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained during construction west of I-229. Benson Road will be closed east of I-229 during the 2023 construction season. This $36.4 million project will be completed in the spring of 2025..

Construction on Veterans Parkway is expected to start in June. The project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2024.

The area involved in this 2023 portion of the overall project is Cliff Avenue. The avenue will have one lane of traffic in each direction at all times.

The intersection with Cliff will be reconstructed. The full project also includes a bridge over 85th Street, pedestrian underpass and reconstruction of intersections at Minnesota and Western.

The project will cost an estimated $60.4 million.

Arrowhead and Six Mile Road construction is set to start again this spring.

Both Arrowhead and Six Mile Road will be expanded to four lanes with center-raised medians.

The project cost is $21.8 million.

The I-29 and 41st Street interchange reconstruction project is slated to start again on Monday, March 27. This is a $44 million project.

The $44 million project of 2023 includes constructing a diverging diamond interchange.

“This is the first in Sioux Falls and the second in South Dakota,” Ludens said.

Starting Monday March 27th, shortly after morning commute time, the eastbound, outside lane of 41st Street will be closed from east of I-29 to Kiwanis Avenue. Closures for this section will vary in locations, time of day and length of time. This designated area will open again prior to the evening commute. There will be at least one lane of traffic open in each direction on 41st Street and the on and off ramps for I-29 will periodically be closed. Xcel Energy crews will be working in manholes and drivers are urged to reduce speed and use caution while travelling through the construction site. You may want to consider finding alternate routes.

The 2023 project also includes the reconstruction of 41st from I-29 to Shirley Avenue.

Ludens said the interchange area has an average daily traffic volume of about 30,000 vehicles.

Why does the city need an outside engineer for the projects?

Several of the largest projects slated for 2023 are those in conjunction with the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

The Benson Road and I-229 project is one example of a SD DOT and city project. The SD DOT also work together on the I-29 and 41st Street interchange, Arrowhead Parkway and Six Mile Road and the Veterans Parkway project.

But, the city often uses an outside engineer on construction projects as another partner.

HDR is listed an engineer for 41st and I-29 while DGR is listed as an engineer for the 85th Street and Cliff Avenue project.

“The city of Sioux Falls bids out 60 to 80 formal construction projects a year,” Ludens said.

Most of the projects need inspections during construction.

“Our staff is 50 to 60 people and we do a lot of planning,” Ludens said.

An engineering firm can help with inspections, he said.