A $1.5 million project to widen one of Rapid City’s main east-west thoroughfares from two and three lanes to five moved forward at the city’s Public Works Committee meeting Tuesday.
The committee unanimously authorized city staff to begin advertising for a project to widen a 1.2-mile stretch of Catron Boulevard from its intersection with U.S. Highway 16 to Nugget Gulch Road, just east of Sheridan Lake Road.
Currently, Catron Boulevard oscillates between two and three lanes in that section before opening into five lanes — two eastbound lanes, two westbound lanes and a center turning lane — as it approaches Nugget Gulch Road to the east and the Black Hills Corp. offices to the west.
City Project Engineer Todd Peckosh explained that the road was originally designed and graded for an eventual expansion to five lanes. Now, that eventuality had arrived.
“It’s just kind of logical that with all the development going on out there that we add that lane on now,” he said after Tuesday’s meeting.
Along with Black Hills Corp.’s $70 million, 200,000-square-foot building just southwest of the Catron Blvd-U.S. Highway 16 intersection is the 58-acre Buffalo Crossing development in the southeast corner. That lot already houses a Holiday Inn Express & Suites and will soon be neighbors with a mix of residential, hospitality, retail and health centers including Regional Health’s Advanced Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute.
A half-mile south of Buffalo Crossing lies The Meadows, a 160-unit luxury apartment complex currently under construction.
Bidding on the project will begin in February, Peckosh said, and construction should begin in March with a completion date sometime near summer’s end. Once the section is widened, the entire stretch will receive a fresh layer of asphalt and new street lighting.
Though unrelated to this project, the South Dakota Department of Transportation is planning a major overhaul of the Catron Blvd-U.S. Highway 16 intersection in the next 10 years.
Another roadwork project also took a step forward during Tuesday’s meeting when the committee approved an agreement for preliminary design work ahead of an estimated $2 million to $2.5 million reconstruction project of Deadwood Avenue.
An approximately 1.5-mile stretch of Deadwood Avenue from Interstate 90 to the border of Meade and Pennington counties will undergo major improvements including pavement rehabilitation, roadway grading, sanitary sewer main work, asphalt paving, drainage, traffic control improvements, striping and right-of-way acquisition.
“The pavement condition is in pretty poor shape through a lot of it,” Peckosh said of the road's current condition. Though it will remain a two-lane rural road, the pavement will be widened from about 20 feet to 30 feet once the work is completed.
A joint project with Pennington County, the sharp curve near the end of Rapid City limits and beginning of Pennington County limits will be straightened out. A “history of accidents” at that curve influenced the decision, Peckosh said.
Construction is expected to begin in 2019 with Pennington County paying for 33 percent of the project’s cost and the city picking up the rest of the tab.