The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) says crews will begin constructing passing lanes and turn lanes on S.D. Highway 34 between Belle Fourche and Whitewood on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. The initial work will consist of temporary fence and silt fence installation. This initial work is expected to be complete in two weeks, depending on weather. Work will then transition into passing lane and turn lane construction, on Monday, March 27, 2023.
There will be seven total work areas on Highway 34 over the duration of the project that will be between one-half mile to one mile in length. These work areas consist of four passing lane areas, two turn lane areas, and one curb and gutter area in the town of St. Onge. The purpose of adding passing and turn lanes is to improve safety and relieve traffic congestion.
Highway 34 will be reduced to one lane through the work zone during working hours with traffic controlled by flaggers and a pilot car. A 10-foot width restriction will also be in effect. Motorist can expect 15-minute delays, suddenly slowing and stopped traffic, uneven or rough surface, and construction equipment and workers adjacent to the roadway. The construction will be halted during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August this year.
The prime contractor on this $10.2 million project is Bituminous Paving, Inc. from Ortonville, MN. The overall completion date for the project is Friday, Oct. 27, 2023.