So Far, Improvements Have Washed Away Problems At Flood Prone Intersection In SF

49th Street & Louise Avenue Is The Only Intersection In The City With Water Sensors

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.– On days like today, one of South Dakota’s busiest intersections would be pooling with water. Forty-ninth Street and Louise Avenue had the tendency to flood even with small amounts of rainfall. But with new improvements, are city officials noticing a difference? KDLT’S Jill Johnson has more on how they’re keeping the water at bay.

In heavy rainfall, cars have literally floated near 49th Street and Louise Avenue. The surrounding streets slope towards the intersection in all directions. It relies heavily on the drainage system below.

City of Sioux Falls Storm Drainage Manager Andy Berg said, “We had too much water going through. The pipes weren’t able to handle that.”

With the Louise Avenue Construction Project, the round piping has been replaced with large box culverts.

“What was in there before is probably just a fraction of the ones we’ve installed,” said Berg.

The city has plans to do the same further downstream.

“With the current situation where we haven’t completed the downstream improvements in the next phase, they provide additional storage down there and allow that water to get off the street in a more efficient manner,” Berg said.

Until then, they’re taking extra steps to keep motorists safe. The city is installing a sensor at the northeast corner of the intersection. When water gets to a certain depth, it will signal these flashing lights.

“That will begin flashing, letting people know that the water is deep here please slow down and, or stop and turn around.”

Already this month, the culverts have been put to work with at least an inch of rain in the first three days.  So far, officials haven’t noticed any problems.

“Hopefully that means the system is working well,” said Berg. “As we get to this next phase of the project, you know, we think it’s only going to continue to improve.”

The sensor will be installed within the next few weeks. There’s no other intersection in the city that has this same technology. City officials say they will also continue to monitor the intersection, especially during events with heavy rainfall.

Related Post