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I-29 & 85th St. Improvement Plans Unveiled



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Anyone who lives on the south side of Sioux Falls can see just how fast the city is growing. To keep up, the city has a few road construction projects in mind.

The goal is to make travel easier. For quite some time, those who live along the stretch of 85th Street in Sioux Falls have known changes were in the making; but this Thursday evening, they had the opportunity to gather at Harrisburg Explorer Elementary School to hear about some of these plans.

“We just want to be able to bring those neighborhoods together, either rural or urban, but we still want to be able to provide for that proper and necessary growth,” says Shannon Ausen, a civil engineer for the City of Sioux Falls Public Works Department.

This means a series of big construction projects may lie ahead for the area. One of these would connect the stretch of 85th Street between Louise and Sundowner that is currently separated by Interstate 29.  

However, that’s just the beginning of the changes that the city has planned in order to prepare for more growth.

“We’re looking at a grade separation along 85th street, as well as adding the auxiliary lanes, and making some geometric changes at Interstate 229 and 29,” says Ausen.

Another project would create a new exit between Tea and Sioux Falls that would give access to 85th Street from Interstate 29.

Randal Haberer moved into his home along this portion of 85th about 10 years ago in hopes to live in a more rural area.

He realizes the growth of Sioux Falls is inevitable, but he still has questions about what lies ahead for his neighborhood in the coming years. A few of his concerns includes the widening of the street in front of his home, the city’s plans to zone along the street, and how the new exit will be designed.

These plans aren’t limited to this stretch of 85th, though. Other projects would include major expansions along Interstate 29, specifically between the Tea Exit and the Minnehaha county line. Some of these expansions will also impact the stretch of Interstate 229 between the I-29 interchange and Louise Avenue.

Nothing is set in stone, though. Officials say this project will require a lot more planning, giving citizens time to prepare themselves for changes that may come in just a few years.

City officials say they plan to get started on these projects in 2015, but there are still many details that need to be ironed out.

If you didn’t get the chance to attend Thursday night’s meeting, or if you would just like to see these plans in more detail; South Dakota Department of Transportation will post a thorough summary of Thursday night’s meeting on their website.
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