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Repairs to two downtown railroad crossings will begin in the next few days but only one will likely ease citizen complaints to city hall.

Emergency repairs to the railroad crossing on Fifth Street are expected to take just one day — today — as the Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad Company repairs a small stretch of the railroad’s track. No real work on the roadway crossing, which is in markedly poor shape, is planned.

Due to the track work, northbound traffic on Fifth Street between Main and Omaha streets will be detoured to Nikko Street, east to Third Street, and north to Omaha Street. Rapid City officials were notified of RCP&E’s plans for the emergency work on Tuesday, city spokesman Darrell Shoemaker said.

While the road is closed, Shoemaker said the city plans to do minor patching and mill overlay to improve the road's condition.

But work on the railroad crossing on Lacrosse Street, which is scheduled to begin Monday and expected to be completed by Friday, should bring a smile to driver’s faces.

As part of the project, RCP&E will replace the tracks and surrounding pads, lift the track bed and re-compact the underlying soils. City crews will be doing minor patch work on the sidewalk and street. The work will be similar to improvements made last year at the railroad crossings on West Boulevard and Sixth Street.

As a result, North Lacrosse Street will be closed from East Adams Street to East Van Buren Street. The detour route for northbound traffic will be East North Street to Anamosa Street while southbound traffic will be redirected from Anamosa Street to East North Street.

The work, which has been in planning for over a year, will cost the city around $11,500, representing the city’s 10 percent matching contribution to the project.

To account for the change in traffic flow, time will be added to the turn signals on Anamosa Street and East North Street.

As with all railroad crossing improvements in Rapid City, RCP&E is responsible for the actual railroad surface upgrades, meaning the city has little say over the timing of improvements. The city’s jurisdiction and responsibility for such work only encompasses the roadway leading up to the crossings.

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Contact Samuel Blackstone at and follow him on Twitter or Facebook @SDBlackstone.

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City Reporter

City reporter for the Rapid City Journal.