Homestead Street extension to relieve traffic congestion, school access issues
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Ground was broken Thursday morning at the intersection of Homestead Street and Timmons Boulevard in Rapid City, where construction will begin on a 900-foot section of road.
The missing piece will connect Timmons Boulevard to Missoula Street – eliminating the need for residents to go out-of-their way just to get home.
The project funded by a city-sponsored Tax Increment Finance District (TIF), which uses the tax increase in a newly developed area to fund public improvements.
“I think when all this development is done, we’re going to be adding a gigantic chunk of tax base onto the income for the city – so it’s going to be really a win-win for everybody concerned,” says Ward 2 Alderman Bill Evans.
TIF Districts fund developments without affecting all the taxpayers in a city, and once the project is complete, the taxing entities reap the benefits of increased valuation.
Traffic congestion also bringing safety concerns for school buses, with Valley View Elementary and East Middle School in the area.
District boundaries changed last year to make room at Valley View Elementary for students in the area – something that will likely happen again as housing increases.
“The idea is to move the boundary clear from downtown close to the Elk Vale on the west side for Valley View so that we can have enough
room for the kids that are going to be living in that area and also going to be attending a school closer to where they live,” says Kumar Veluswamy, director of facility services with Rapid City Area Schools.
The school district also discussing plans to purchase land near Homestead Street to accommodate the increase.
The road is expected to be complete by July 2022.
Doyle Estes, the project’s developer and owner of Homestead Street Project LLC., says the construction timeline is incredibly cost-effective.
“The project – because we can do winter construction – the project came in substantially under budget,” Estes says.
The completion of the road will allow greater access for planned developments in the area, which Estes says includes nearly 150 apartments within the next year.