Mount Rushmore renovation project is scheduled to finish this week

Local News

HILL CITY, S.D. (KELO) — A 10-million-dollar facelift on Mount Rushmore is nearing completion just in time for tourism season.

Construction at Mount Rushmore isn’t stopping thousands of people from visiting the national memorial.

“We’re on a big road trip from Las Vegas, Nevada all the way to Madison, South Dakota, for a family reunion and we thought we’d stop by Mount Rushmore on the way,” Ben Kip said.

It’s the first time this group is visiting the monument.

“I’d love to bring the grandkids because being here is just, you can’t explain it,” Wanda Fischer said.

The multi-million-dollar renovations were about a two year construction project. However, the planning process started four years ago. Assistant Chief of Interpretation at Mount Rushmore, Blaine Kortemeyer, says crews are currently finishing up the walking surfaces.

“So we are like 99 percent complete at this point,” Kortemeyer said.

Kortemeyer says the project should be finished by this Friday — just in time for a busy summer.

“We are expecting a big year and as you can see behind me there are lots of people here. Completely what we expect on a Wednesday afternoon in the middle of June. As best as we could it was important to facilitate a quick ending,” Kortemeyer said.

All so that visitors, like the Kips and Fischers can experience the Monument with a great view.

“I’m sure we’ll be back,” Marsha Kip said.

The memorial will have a ribbon cutting event coming up to mark an end to the project.

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