SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) — Navigating a daily commute through construction zones can be frustrating enough, but adding in back-to-school traffic can mean an even longer wait in the car.
However, there’s good news for drivers in southeast Sioux Falls and Harrisburg: the intersection of 85th Street and Cliff Avenue opened on Monday near the Harrisburg School District’s new Freshman Academy.
“We’re really pleased that, obviously, that this is open by the first day of school,” Harrisburg School District Superintendent Tim Graf said. “And we have an open house here starting this morning, and so we’ve got parents and kids showing up and to be able to open this is really a huge blessing for us.”
“With opening the project up today for traffic ahead of the school start date on Thursday, we are anticipating this will help a lot for parents and students and minimizing any additional detours and delays,” City of Sioux Falls engineer Andy Berg said. “We hope this route creates a smoother and simpler pathway for those folks.”
But this newly-open route won’t just impact families in the Harrisburg School District; the section of Cliff Avenue is a major artery into southeast Sioux Falls.
“It’s really been a maze to get around the Harrisburg area this summer and getting in to Sioux Falls,” Graf said. “And so it’s, I think a huge benefit … that this is opening and opening on time.”
Berg says the project began in April and cost slightly more than $4 million.
“The traveling public will use the inside lanes through the intersection while the work in the intersection continues to progress with the final completion in mid-October,” Berg said. “The intersection will be controlled with temporary stop signs for now.”
School begins anew for both the Sioux Falls and Harrisburg School Districts on Thursday.