Mind your commute, construction season’s ahead

Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 5:14 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Although it’s been relatively cold for the later part of the winter, it’s not cold enough to stop Rapid City construction crews from gearing up to get some road work done.

In the coming weeks, there’s a few projects that will begin and could impact commutes.

”Things warm up and everybody wants to get going as quick as they can,” says Roger Halls, Rapid City’s Construction Manager. “Our main focus is on the capital improvement projects.” Which, is 11 projects totaling roughly 25-million dollars. “So, we’re getting out there and we’re doing some work. Unfortunately, this year we have a few that have big impacts to the traveling public.”

He says some roads will soon close, like St. Cloud Street to be reconstructed, “and then we’re going to build a new street down below called St. Paul Street. Kind of cool, for those people down below to have better access.” Or, St. Patrick St. and Highway 44, “we’re going to close it, and the deadline is now Memorial Day to have it back open before tourist season.”

Although there’s a fair amount of stationary equipment lying around town, that doesn’t necessarily mean work hasn’t already begun.

“A lot of the construction workers have been on lay off over the winter and they want to get back to work and doing what they love to do,” Hall says.

Some sites look like a ghost town, and Halls says “people will drive by a project and see all of the barrels up and all of the cones, nobody working and the concrete just sitting there.” Concrete is like baking a cake, except it can take a month to set, or “curing is the word we use.”

However, occasionally empty sites aren’t due to contractors letting concrete cure. Instead, Hall says they’re on the hunt, and “they’re having a hard time finding help.” Hall’s been speaking with contractors day in and out, and “they’ve had an ad out for two months and had no applicants for jobs.”

Not just a lack of help. but Hall says a lack of materials. Where some can take six to twelve months to arrive. “Fortunately, some of these, we’ve looked far enough out and we’ve anticipated that.”

The City’s highlighting soon up and coming projects, but there’s far more under way.

“During the summer,” hall explains, “we’ll have nearly 100 projects going. So, we just touched the tip of the iceberg.”

Some of those projects and some small.

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