If you drive Minnesota Avenue between Sioux Falls and Harrisburg a lot, you may want to start making other plans. An $18 million project to reconstruct three miles of Minnesota, also known as Highway 115, is set to begin Wednesday.
Minnesota Avenue or Highway 115 is a popular stretch of road connecting Sioux Falls to Harrisburg.
“This roadway sees 6,000 vehicles a day currently. We project by 2035 that it will be 16,000 vehicles out there. So it’s tripling. So from a capacity standpoint and also the condition of the roadway out there, it’s at the end of its useful life,” Mike Heiberger, with the South Dakota Department of Transportation, said.
Heiberger says the first phase of construction will shut down Minnesota Avenue from 273rd Street by Harrisburg High School to 271st Street this year as crews upgrade it to a four lane road with lighting.
“Patience and planning ahead. We really want people to plan ahead on your morning commute because there’s going to be a delay,” Heiberger said.
The closure will cut the entrances to Harrisburg High in half. Tiger Way connects to Minnesota Avenue.
The road on Tiger Way will actually be open for a few more weeks before they completely shut down its access to Minnesota Avenue leaving one way onto the high school campus.
“If you are not coming to the school, avoiding Willow Ave for anyone who is going into Sioux Falls would be a great help to us,” Rollinger said.
Harrisburg High School Principal Ryan Rollinger says Willow, which is 273rd St, will see heavy traffic during the construction.
“It’s going to take a little bit longer to get to school so to leave earlier in the morning. Which is always something that is going to be difficult for high school age kids. It’s going to take 5-10 minutes longer than it normally has. If everybody is still driving safely, that’s our main concern is that we’re not having accidents or things like that out on the roadways,” Rollinger said.
The DOT says a substantial amount of construction will be complete by November 15th. The second phase of the project from 271st Street to 85th Street will wrap up in November of 2020.