Outlaw Square construction starts Monday

January 5, 2019

DEADWOOD — The Deadwood City Commission Wednesday awarded $383,315 in phase one work for Outlaw Square, and a 2 p.m. groundbreaking on the project is scheduled Monday at the corner of Main and Deadwood streets.

The project involves the demolition of the Franklin Motor Lodge, initial site work and retaining wall repairs along City Creek. Demolition of the Franklin Motor Lodge is slated to occur between Monday and Jan. 21.

A start on the public restrooms and stage area is scheduled to begin in March, along with the utility work and Deadwood Street reconstruction.

As part of the project, Deadwood Street will be realigned to meet Shine Street, creating an additional sitting area next to Hickock’s; the realignment was identified in the 1992 comprehensive plan.

The traffic control portion of the bid was awarded to RHS, Inc., for $6,915. Two bids were submitted.

The concrete retaining wall award went to Scull Construction for $168,000, with three bids submitted.

Sitework, excavation, utilities, and demolition work went to Quinn Construction for $208,400. Six bids were received.

Scott Edwards, representing construction manager at risk contractor Scull Construction, explained that 12-16 feet of excavation will be required for the retaining wall, so standby time is built into the bid depending on what is found mainly as part of the archaeological investigation.

The commission also granted permission for the closure of Deadwood Street between Highway 14A and Main Street beginning Monday for the construction. Commissioners discussed the site staging and laydown plan for each stage of construction, provided by Scull.

During phase one, Monday to March 15, demo and utilities, sidewalks will remain open to the public, but Deadwood Street will be fully closed. There will be no access to Highway 14A from the site.

During phase two, general construction March 15 to June 15, sidewalks along Highway 14A and Main Street will be closed to the public, while a four-foot section of sidewalk will remain open along Hickok’s. Deadwood Street will be fully closed.

During phase three, June 15 to Sept. 15, sidewalks will be open to the public along Main Street, while the sidewalk along Highway 14A will be closed. There will be no access to Highway 14A, but half of Deadwood Street will be open during this phase.

“The intent on Deadwood Street is we’ll pour the sub base concrete and leave the pavers off, so as people are driving over it, there will be a small asphalt ramp to get you from adjacent concrete down to the new concrete, so we’re not driving over pavers during construction,” Edwards said. “What will probably end up happening is probably after Labor Day or after traffic really subsides, we’ll have to close Deadwood Street fully again and then we’ll place all the pavers.”

“Obviously, our major concerns are into summer, when it comes to traffic on Deadwood Street for special events, and Scull has assured us they will work with us, especially on Deadwood Street, that we would have two-way traffic on special events,” Kevin Kuchenbecker, historic preservation officer, said. “As you can see, closure of Deadwood Street begins Jan. 7 at 8 and continues to June 15, opening right before Wild Bill Days to one-way traffic and then having the ability to move that to two-way traffic during special events is what we’ll be shooting for … trying to maintain pedestrian flow along there is going to be important on Main Street, especially.”

Commissioner Gary Todd asked if semi-trucks and trailers could make the turn from Main Street on to Deadwood Street, once the street is realigned.

Edwards said that while a traffic pattern analysis did include the accommodation of buses to make the turn, it did not include semi-trucks, but that he believed the turning radius of a tractor trailer to be smaller than that of a passenger bus.

The commission also approved allowing two spaces on Main Street for an unloading and loading zone for Hickok’s Hotel & Gaming during the closure of Deadwood Street, as the business’s current loading zone will be lost.

Outlaw Square will include public restrooms, a stage, storage, ice rink, and turf, as well as historic features.

“Reminiscent of city hall and the Deadwood Theater that once stood in that location, a possible gazebo and water feature,” Kuchenbecker said. “Of course, being in a National Historic Landmark District, it will be compatible with the historic district’s wood and masonry brick construction.”

Archaeological monitoring is slated to begin this week.

Kuchenbecker said city officials are not anticipating discovering much more than fill, but, of course, the won’t know for sure until the site is opened up.

“Based on the historic photographs, the Sanborn fire maps, both the Opera House and then, later, the Deadwood theater … both had basements, so we’re imagining that everything that they excavate is going to be fill,” Kuchenbecker said. “We’ll probably find some evidence of foundations there, but most of it’s going to be fill and where city hall sits, we won’t be excavating much there at all. Most of it will be toward the back toward the four-lane.”

Commissioner Sharon Martinisko asked for patience during the construction.

“I would really encourage the community and the business people and everyone in our town should look forward as we go through this,” she said. “This is going to be inconvenient. It’s going to be difficult to work around. The chamber is bending over backwards to continue to have all the events that we’ve always had and make them great, but there’s going to be a lot of … fluidity to this, and we’re going to have to make compromises and be willing to do that. … Just remember the end result’s going to be the best.”

In October 2018, Gov. Dennis Daugaard committed the $2 million required to match the fall 2017 $2 million commitment from Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission, contingent upon the Main Street Initiative Committee securing matching funds to get the project off the ground.

“$4 million has been budgeted, to date,” Kuchenbecker said. “Final budget and pricing are yet to be determined.”

The opening of Outlaw Square is scheduled for Labor Day weekend.

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