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A vehicle travels along Sheridan Lake Road near the intersection with Mountain Park Road in Pennington County. 

The Sheridan Lake Road reconstruction project got another green light forward Tuesday from the Pennington County Board of Commissioners. 

Mark Schock, assistant superintendent of the county's highway department, gave the board an update during the regular commission meeting at the Pennington County Administration Building in Rapid City. 

He asked the board to advise if it had any changes in the current project's designs. Commissioners ultimately voted 4-1 to move forward with the county's current plans and give a vote of confidence to the highway department. Commissioners Lloyd LaCroix, Mark DiSanto, Deb Hadcock and Ron Buskerud voted in favor of the motion. Commissioner George Ferebee was the lone vote against approval. 

The approximately $20 million project will reconstruct, realign, and add curb and gutter to various sections of the 12-mile long road connecting U.S. Highway 385 to Rapid City.

The current plan's designs call for three, 12-foot-wide driving lanes with curb, gutter, storm sewer and grading for sidewalks from Albertta Drive west to Spring Canyon Trail; two 12-foot driving lanes with curb, gutter and storm sewer on the north side of the road between Norsemen Lane and Victoria Lake Road; and two, 12-foot driving lanes with four-foot shoulders in most areas for the remainder of the project. 

Schock's information included an update on complaints and concerns from county residents who have been addressed by the county Highway Department, and right-of-way acquisitions from landowners, which Schock said are about 50 percent completed. 

Possible sidewalks from Albertta Drive to Spring Canyon Trail and public opposition to the stretches of added curb and gutter led the discussion. Much of the opposition to curb and gutter along the road came from bicyclists, according to Schock, who want a bike lane on the highway. But Schock said that would require additional right-of-way, which could cause further delays to the project.

He also said the eight-tenths of a mile between Albertta Drive and Spring Canyon Trail will have three 12-foot lanes (two driving lanes and a turning lane), along with the curb and gutter, for a total width of 40 feet. Next to that the county will grade for a future six-foot sidewalk/multi-use path. The rest of the project will have a four-foot-wide shoulder on at least one side of the road.

"Cars and bicycles, we feel, should be able to share that 40-foot path in a pretty safe manner," he said.

Commissioners seemed to agree, but Ferebee and DiSanto did advocate pouring concrete for the multi-use path/sidewalk right away, rather than grading it and waiting to add the concrete later. The concrete would likely cost about $125,000, according to Schock. 

Schock said he hopes to be able to start construction on the project in late 2019 or early 2020. 

In other business, the commissioners approved authorization to advertise for bids for the Pennington County Care Campus and residential treatment project. The bid opening is scheduled for 2 p.m. Jan. 8.

The project will complete the second phase of the renovation of the former National American University building, which is now the county's Care Campus facility. The east half of the second floor will be built into a living area for a residential treatment program, with separate spaces for men and women. The two zones will include a parking lot, a drop-off lane along the alley, landscaping and paths on the east side of the block.

Sheriff Kevin Thom said the county received a $1.5 million donation to be used for this project and has pledged additional funds to cover new costs that may occur. 

Thom, in response to commissioners' questions, reiterated that the project doesn't add any new county programs, but consolidates services and expands the county's capacity for substance abuse treatment. 

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Contact Candy DenOuden at candy.denouden@rapidcityjournal.com

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Online editor

Online Editor for the Rapid City Journal.