SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls streets could last a lot longer in the future thanks to South Dakota soybean farmers.
The city is experimenting with soybean oil to help preserve side streets.
“It’s fun to be back out here, breathing the fresh air and smelling the soybean dust,” said Centerville farmer Tim Ostrem.
Centerville farmer Tim Ostrem is combining his first soybean field of the season today. He says yields are down a little because of the heat and lack of rain in August, but prices are creeping up.
“Everything we can do to get more value out of soybeans is a win for the farmers,” said Ostrem.
That’s why Ostrem parked the combine and spent the morning in Sioux Falls, watching a special kind of soybean oil being sprayed on city streets.
“It penetrates about an inch into the surface which keeps moisture from penetrating into our asphalt streets which helps preserve our streets,” said Sioux Falls civil engineer Nick Rezac.
Sioux Falls is experimenting with a soybean-based street preservative called “RePlay.”
“By using RePlay, there’s a potential to extend the life of your road by five to nine years,” said RePlay applicator Jerry Van Dyke.
“If we can get five to seven more years out of any road, it helps with our capitol program, helps us reallocate those dollars we would have used to redo this road and put them in other areas of the city,” said Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken.
Mayor Paul TenHaken says if the pilot project goes well, the city will use even more RePlay in the future. That’s music to the ears of soybean farmers like Ostrem.
“It’s another win, win situation. A win for the farmers and a win hopefully for the community of Sioux Falls and also the state of South Dakota if we can get that product to work on all of our roads,” said Ostrem.
Another win is for people living along the streets being treated. Unlike oil based preservatives, RePlay actually smells good.
“While that’s a small thing, it is nice. It’s nice to sit out here and smell that citrus smell which actually smells good,” said Mayor TenHaken.
The money to pay for the pilot project is being put up by the city and the South Dakota soybean check off program.
The city says it will spray seven or eight blocks to begin with and then see how the streets hold up over time.