The state Transportation Commission visited Sioux Falls on Tuesday and committed to helping the city finish the remaining eight miles of Veterans Parkway.
The four segments would be built in 2023 through 2026 and carry an estimated price tag of $190 million.
The deal calls for Sioux Falls to take responsibility for design, getting environmental clearance, negotiating right of way access, and managing construction contracts. The state Department of Transportation would pay for the work.
Mayor Paul Ten Haken thanked the commission, the department and the current and past governors for the assistance and funding. When finished, Veterans Parkway will connect Interstate 90 and Interstate 29. “It’s very, very big for our community,” Ten Haken said.
Commission chairman Mike Vehle of Mitchell replied that Sioux Falls is known for looking ahead. “It is visionary,” Vehle said.
Joel Jundt, the state department’s deputy secretary, said the city government had agreed to take responsibility for various state highways within Sioux Falls, in return for the state department promising to build what then was known as SD 100.
Jundt said the new parkway’s segment from North 57th Street to I-90 will be completed this winter.
What’s ahead are segments along the south leg between Cliff and Western in 2023, Western and I-29 in 2024, Sycamore and Cliff in 2025, and Sycamore to 57th in 2026.
The commission will be presented the projects to add to its longer-range plan later this year, Jundt said, and the commission would need to concur on the bids.
Vehle recalled his time as a legislator when he was working to get more funding for South Dakota’s highways and bridges. “Little did I know I would be voting on spending money for that little project in Sioux Falls,” he said.
A news release from the governor’s office put the total estimated cost of the Veterans Parkway work at $208.9 million, including $176 million from the state and $32.9 million from the city.