DOT plans changes to US 212 through Gettysburg
The South Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) hosted a public information meeting at the Gettysburg Fire Hall earlier this month to inform the community about planned improvements to US Highway 212 through town and gather input and comments.
According to the information provided, the four lane highway was originally construct in 1971 and last resurfaced in 2002.
The proposal is to change it to a three lane road.
It was explained that the purpose is to provide more efficient access to streets, with only two driving lanes and a center turn lane.
Currently the four lanes are each 12 feet wide. The proposed change would have two lanes, each 14 feet wide, with an 11 foot wide two-way, left turn lane in the center, with curb and gutter and a boulevard sidewalk.
The DOT explained that the change would make the road capable of safely handling up to 20,000 plus vehicles a day. The road currently averages just over 2,000 vehicles per day. In the two years from 2010 to 2012, 12 crashes were reported on the road, with one rear end crash, one left turning vehicle that failed to yield to mainline traffic access, and 10 deer/vehicle collisions.
The DOT also believes that a three lane highway provides safer left hand turning for vehicles, reduces the number of points for left turning vehicles and for those entering the roadway, reduces the speed differential between vehicles, reduces crossing width for pedestrians, and creates a traffic calming effect.
Additional improvements would include storm sewer and roadway lighting.
The estimated cost of the project is $7.33 million, with the preliminary design being completed during the fall of 2014 and construction to begin in the spring of 2018.
There was concern that a three lane highway seems like a step backward, and there are currently passing lanes which would be eliminated with the three lane road.
Comments, questions, and concerns may be submitted to the DOT by Friday, Nov. 1. Contact Sonia Downs, SDDOT, 700 E. Broadway Ave., Pierre, SD 57501 or email Sonia.Downs@state.sd.us.
The information provided at the community meeting can be downloaded at sddot.com/dot/publicmeetings