Public meetings all day regarding the future of Hwy. 16

RAPID CITY, S.D. -The South Dakota Department of Transportation held a meeting about its Highway 16 Corridor Study. The study will help them create a long-range plan for the highway.

The Black Hills are growing in both tourism and local business, which means more people will be drawn to live in and visit the hills within the coming decades. More people mean more traffic, which will require a modern solution to keep traffic flowing and safe.

The study discusses traffic patterns and accidents on Highway 16 from Cathedral Drive all the way to the Keystone Wye.

“They collected current traffic counts at all the intersections by not only just the volume going through the intersections, but how many are turning left, how many are turning right, and how many are going straight through,” said Steven Gramm, a planning engineer.

The main concerns are the intersections at Catron Boulevard and Neck Yolk Road. There are two options being studied for Catron to help create a safer and more efficient intersection. There’s the single point interchange model and the displaced left-turn model.

The single point will have a bridge-like structure, with US 16 running above US 16B and Catron. With this model, Addison Avenue and Tucker Street will have to be closed, which could be detrimental to business on those roads.

“We feel as though Addison Avenue is the lifeblood of our business most of our business is tourism. We have a good local following. If they get rid of Addison, which one of the designs completely eliminates, our business is basically done” said business owner, Bob Klescewski.

At Neck Yolk Road there are also two options. Options are what’s known as a reduced conflict intersection, or a J-Turn, and traffic signals.

The reduced conflict intersection will allow people to pull into a separate lane to cross a divided highway. For the traffic signals, they are considering adding signals at two separate intersections.

As of now, no official decisions have been made and the earliest any construction could start is 2026.

You can submit suggestions and questions online at http://us16corridor.com/.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News

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