City Council set to approve next step in Dinosaur Park accessibility improvements

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Rapid City Council is set to initiate the process to provide accessibility improvements to one of Rapid City’s most iconic locations.

On Monday night, the Council will consider a proposal authorizing hiring a consultant for design and construction documents for upgrading pedestrian routes, constructing safety features, and installing new and upgraded visitor amenities to Dinosaur Park.

The improvements were presented to the City’s Vision Committee in 2018 and were part of the package of items brought forward to the City Council and approved in early 2019 for Vision Fund allocations. The projected $2.5 million project was approved for $1.6 million from the Vision Fund and would be combined with $900,000 from the Rapid City Parks and Recreation Department’s Capital Improvements Project (CIP) Fund.

“The Project is long overdue,” said Melissa Petersen, Landscape Designer with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. “For people with mobility limitations, those pushing strollers, and their loved ones, this Park has been exclusionary. The City’s Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking to remedy this situation and hopes to thereby increase the park’s visitor numbers and make the experience more meaningful to everyone.”

Dinosaur Park was constructed in 1936. Over the years, maintenance and renovations have been made to parking, pedestrian access, pavement and to the dinosaurs themselves.

The vision for these latest improvements was set forth in the 2014 Dinosaur Park Master Plan and accepted for funding in the 2018-19 Vision Fund process. The project would go to bid in the fall of 2021.

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