Construction on Omaha street may cause delays due to a shift in traffic

RAPID CITY, S.D. — If you have driven lately on Omaha Street in Rapid City, you have no doubt noticed more traffic. The reconstruction project is currently in phase four, which deals with the median.

Phase four of the Omaha Street Reconstruction Project started at the beginning of March, but recent changes to the traffic layout have caused longer delays for some drivers.

Jason Baker, Project Engineer for Omaha Street Reconstruction, said, “The first week people are going to realize unfortunately there is some delay and they will find alternate routes to go around. We still encourage people to use the road, it’s just, expect delays. I know the City has a project going on as well and so it complicates traffic for sure.”

One of the biggest traffic issues is occurring at the intersection of Omaha and West Boulevard, where the traffic suddenly converges down to one lane and causes issues for some drivers. These traffic decisions are made by the South Dakota Department of Transportation to provide enough space for the construction workers to work safely while also allowing enough room for traffic.

“We have actually a sequencing plan in our project plans. We have to build the down stream portion of a storm drain before we can build the upstream portion so it has a place to drain to. The alignment of the infrastructure kinda guides the sequencing,” Baker said.

That part of the construction will wrap up in May as the construction will shift towards the west, which should last until December of 2021.

Baker also said, “We’re making the roadway wider, new storm drainage system to increase the capacity. Better improve drainage, new signals, new lighting, new pavement markings. So its gonna be a big improvement its just ugly to get there.”

The Omaha Street Reconstruction project is on schedule to be complete by May 2022.

Categories: Local News, Traffic & Accidents