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Highway 11 south of Brandon slated for widening
Project improves two miles of road in 2015
By By Beth Wischmeyer
Argus Leader Media

March 12. 2013 6:00AM
A little more than two miles of Highway 11 roadway south of Brandon will be widened in 2015, a move South Dakota Department of Transportation officials say will make the road safer for increased traffic.

The estimated $1.5 million project was outlined in a public meeting Feb. 26.

The Highway 11 project will stretch to the east junction with Highway 42 to just south of Madison Street.

The road, which was constructed in 1986, saw an average of 3,328 cars, with a projected 3,844 expected by 2031, said Mark Leiferman, chief road design engineer with the South Dakota Department of Transportation. It also has a lot of truck traffic.

Leiferman said there were 19 accidents from 2008 to 2011 on that particular stretch of roadway, the majority of which were animal hits, along with two rear-end collisions and one intersection crash. While not a large amount, the total number of accidents is higher than the statewide average on similar highways, he said.

The proposed project would take the two-foot shoulders and widen them to eight feet, increasing the right-of-way from 50 feet to 75 feet on each side of the road and 65 feet in areas where there are homes, Leiferman said. The surface of the road would be repaved as well.

“We looked at it from a safety aspect, knowing that there wasn’t shoulders on there, and that there were improvements we can do to make it a safer highway,” Leiferman said. “The accidents aren’t large out there, but based on the narrow shoulders, the steeper inslopes, there’s a benefit to widen it.”

The project would be constructed throughout several months in 2015.

Some who attended last week’s meeting said with the increased traffic, which they attribute to the Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood, Iowa, turning lanes would be beneficial.

Jeff and Debbie Kribell, who live south of Highway 11, said widening the road would add some safety for school buses, as well as residents.

“I think widening it will make it a little bit safer, the other thing we’re seeing is more bike traffic on that road, and right now there’s no shoulder whatsoever for bikes to get over to be safely passed and avoiding the other cars,” Jeff Kribell said.

Tim Nicolai, who lives near the area, said he was disappointed the DOT isn’t looking at the intersection of Highways 42 and 11, as there has become a safety issue with trying to turn.

“I’ve seen cars probably 15 deep sitting at that intersection waiting to turn,” Nicolai said.

Landowner meetings for those who live along the planned road project route will be held over the next few months, Leiferman said.
TO LEARN MORE
Comments on the project will be taken until March 12. Send your comments to: Paul Nicolas, SDDOT, 700 E. Broadway Ave., Pierre, SD 575-1 or email Paul.Nicolas@tate.sd.us





A two-mile stretch of Highway 11 south of Brandon is scheduled to be widened from two lanes to three in 2015. Challenger file photo



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