DOT to conduct study for overhaul of Highway 16

RAPID CITY, SD — The South Dakota Department of Transportation is in the beginning stages of an overhaul of Highway 16. They hope to make the highway safer and to develop a long term vision for the entire corridor as Rapid City grows.

Highway 16 and its problem areas are under the microscope of the DOT, and officials are looking for input from the public and businesses to make transportation safer.

The Highway 16 corridor in Rapid City is just one of the many places that’s experiencing explosive growth every day. That’s why the DOT wants to conduct a study to make sure it grows effectively and efficiently.

The DOT says the stretch of road from the Keystone line all the way to Rapid City has a few problem areas. The intersection of Catron Boulevard and Highway 16 along with the stretch near Reptile Gardens are hotspots for crashes.

“We want to look at this corridor to try to improve the safety of the entire corridor,” said Steve Gramm, Department of Transportation Planning Engineer, “And part of that safety is then improving that capacity as is warranted,”

But officials say it’s a numbers game.

With more traffic on the road comes more crashes. From 2014 to 2018 there were 580 crashes, but almost half of them involved animals.

With new housing and business developments stretching south along 16, the area is slated for a population boom in the coming years.

With the new Buffalo Crossing development and possibly a new school in the area, officials say Highway 16 is only going to get busier.

With data, public input and several more studies, the state hopes to make changes by 2025.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News, Traffic & Accidents