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City of Sturgis, DOT hold open house on Junction Avenue study

STURGIS, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Transportation and the City of Sturgis have been working on possible long-term improvements to the southern end of Junction Avenue.

The area under study runs from Pineview Drive to Harmon Street.

At an open house Tuesday night, city staff and engineers from the D.O.T. were on hand to take comments and suggestions on proposed improvements.

There are nine intersections in the project area, each being evaluated for operations and alignments. For example, there are two locations in the corridor where two t-intersections are close in proximity but not aligned east-west. They are the Anna/Vanocker Canyon intersections and the Harmon/Ball Park Road intersections. The D.O.T. says this misalignment contributes to non-standard turning patterns and results in the potential for additional crashes.

At the open house, the D.O.T. showed several proposed alternatives for both intersections.

The Anna/Vanocker Road project includes the addition of signals, realignment of both intersections and adding a roundabout.

Improving the Harmon Street/Ball Park Road intersection is a bit trickier because of the non-standard turning pattern due to the close proximity of the two streets. The D.O.T.’s proposal includes a signal reconstruction at Ball Park or a roundabout connecting the two streets.

Another alternative to improving the corridor is to add a divided median or a two-way left turn lane to reduce the likelihood of head-to-head collisions and conflicts from left-turns into oncoming traffic.

The city and D.O.T. are also working on proposed improvements to bike paths and sidewalks in the area.

Because Junction Avenue is not maintained by the D.O.T. any improvements approved would need to be funded by the city.

Public input on proposed improvements is being accepted until June 23.

The city will post maps and graphics from the open house on their website this week.

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