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City accepts input on major road project in South Dakota

December 17, 2017

SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) — City planners are accepting public feedback for a proposal to rebuild a major road in a western South Dakota community.

The city of Spearfish is preparing for a nearly $8 million reconstruction of about one mile on Jackson Boulevard, a major traffic artery in the Northern Black Hills area. City planners are considering concepts to ease traffic flow and enhance safety, the Rapid City Journal reported .

One concept being considered is a three-lane road design with center medians, wide turn lanes and protected bike lanes. City planners said traffic would flow better with this design than the existing five-lane configuration.

“I think it would be a good fit for the community,” said Kyle Mathis, a city engineer.

But many residents expressed doubts about the proposed concepts during a City Council meeting recently.

Resident Sharon Allard said the three-lane concept would make it difficult for motorists to make a left turn trying to access East Jackson Boulevard to get on Interstate 90.

“Sometimes traffic is backed up a whole block in front of my house,” Allard said.

City planners are also considering a one-lane traffic circle, or roundabout. Mathis said parts of the project are set in stone, including replacing and upgrading city water mains and sewers. But he said input on street design and aesthetic improvements is welcome.

“We want to get as much public input on that aspect as possible, and as you can see, there’s a lot of opinions,” Mathis said. “We’re going to try to get a conglomeration of those opinions and get the best project we can.”

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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