SDDOT abandons plans for exit 406 temporary light

By: 
Jamie Hult, Staff writer
Plans for a temporary stoplight on North Splitrock Boulevard at I-90 exit 406 have been put aside, said Travis Dressen with the South Dakota Department of Transportation last week.
Concerns that the light would back up traffic too far south on Splitrock when drivers are hopping on and off the interstate during rush-hour traffic have led SDDOT to re-think the temporary light, which was scheduled to be installed this fall.
“There weren’t really any good options due to the lack of an a.m. turn,” Dressen said. “This is the safest option.”
Instead, Dressen said, SDDOT will widen the shoulder of exit 406 eastbound to allow drivers better access to Splitrock coming off of the interstate, which should lessen traffic back-up on the ramp.
“We’re looking at removing that shoulder of the interstate from the bridge to the off ramp,” he explained. 
The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), a transportation advisory committee serving Minnehaha and Lincoln counties, heard the change of plans at their bi-monthly meeting at SECOG last week.
“We’re mainly dealing with costs of the project,” Dressen said. “The total cost difference between the original plan should be close to the same.”
The shoulder widening, however, likely won’t happen this year, he said.
“We’ll start working on design and looking at contractor availability,” he explained. “This will still provide the most benefit to Brandon without degrading the traffic flow and having it back up to Redwood.”
Dressen expects the project to be completed next August. 

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