Mt. Rushmore Road construction will take longer, cost more - KOTA Territory News

Mt. Rushmore Road construction will take longer, cost more

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"It's bouncy," said Marin Lundeen, Manager at Colonial House Restaurant on Mount Rushmore Road in Rapid City.
 
An estimated 24,000 people come up and down Mount Rushmore Road every day and, it's a bumpy ride.
 
"I come up the road every morning, go down every afternoon. There's many bumps I would prefer were not there," said Lundeen.
 
Last resurfaced almost twenty years ago, reconstruction on Mount Rushmore Road will finally take place next spring.
 

"It's going to be a four lane section, two north bound two south bound with left-turn lanes at key intersections and in between those you'll see a lot of medians as well," said South Dakota Department of Transportation Engineer Steve Palmer.
But last week, DOT officials announced they need to extend the two year project to three years, and increase the cost 8%, totaling up to $13 million dollars. 
 
"A lot of private utilities have to be relocated in conjunction with the project. With all the utilities we have in there, we just couldn't get that done in two years," said Palmer.
 
"It is discouraging and disheartening that we're paying more to have it longer, where they could get it done and they could move into a different area of town," said Lundeen.
 
Engineers are also working to mitigate the effects of a center median that could restrict access to businesses.
 
"The options we're looking right now are to widen some of the areas at the U-turn points so people can still make U-turns," said Palmer.
 
Most expect the worst, but eagerly await the smooth ride to come.

The three part project will start at Tower Road and extend to Flormann, come next spring. The next phase will stretch from Flormann to St. James Street. Phase three will extend from St. James Street to Kansas City Street.

The city of Rapid City will also replace utilities in conjunction with the roadway at a cost of $8 million dollars.

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