The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Route 7 is a vital arterial corridor in the community connecting the community of Rosebud, South Dakota to US Highway 18 approximately 8 miles west, and US Highway 83 approximately 16 miles east. The roadway was in poor condition. Travelers and workers in the area experienced transportation challenges including limited visibility, lack of transportation access, and constrained transportation options along the BIA route. The area also experienced a high crash rate on the unsafe corridor.
KLJ worked with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (RST) Transportation Program to prepare two dynamic grant application packages seeking United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) funding. A transportation investment generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant for nearly $14.2 million was awarded in 2016 which helped fund the first phase of reconstruction from Rosebud to 8.4 miles east towards US Highway 83. Additionally in 2022, the project was awarded $26.2 million through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant (MPDG) Rural Transportation Program (Rural) program. The additional grant funds allow the Rosebud Sioux Tribe to expand the project west to US Highway 18 and fully complete and upgrade the highway connecting the Community of Rosebud to both US highway arterial corridors. The next phase of construction is scheduled to begin in 2025 The additional funding for this project will further connect citizens and vital services in the area.
The first construction phase, completed in 2023, reconstructed six miles of BIA Route 7 and 2.4 miles of 269th Avenue in Todd County. It included intersection reconfiguration, construction of pedestrian infrastructure, and a wide range of safety enhancements. The project increases safe, efficient regional connectivity between tribally owned farmland and private businesses. The design challenges included balancing nearly 1.4 million cubic yards of dirt - cutting a large hill and balancing the quantity at six miles, water main and sanitary sewer relocations, incorporating American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant sideway ramp design on eight-percent road grade, and evaluating how to widen the Rosebud Dam concrete pavement in order to incorporate space for pedestrians to safely cross the roadway and keep a safe distance from vehicular traffic.
KLJ performed the topographic and cadastral survey, engineering design, environmental resources surveys, environmental permits and clearances, and right-of-way platting and acquisition assistance for the project, along with two successful grant awards to fund the project.
The improvement project included designing safer access across the Rosebud Lake Dam. The existing concrete pavement was barely wide enough for vehicular traffic and pedestrians were unsafely crossing in the travel lane on a daily basis. To help with this issue, a retaining wall and concrete pavement expansion was designed to incorporate a new pathway for pedestrians and bicyclists including a handrail and guardrail for protection.
Another unique component of the project was utilizing the existing asphalt and base course of the existing roadway. Granular surfacing was used by recycling the materials and reusing them in the new pavement, creating cost effectiveness and roadway efficiency. Geotextile was also incorporated into the pavement structure to improve pavement resiliency.
The project was designed to meet or exceed current safety standards, pedestrian and bicyclist infrastructure was incorporated into the design, intersections were reconfigured to increase safety of the traveling public, approaches were redesigned for better access, and lighting was also installed on the roadway and pathway. KLJ worked closely with the RST Transportation Program to help with construction observation and administration for the first phase. As a result, the first construction phase from Rosebud to 8.4 miles east received two awards. The Contractor, Loiseau Construction, Inc was awarded the 2022 BUILD South Dakota from Associated General Contractors of SD. KLJ was honored with the 2022 Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award from the Black Hills Chapter South Dakota Engineering Society (SDES) and American Council of Engineering Companies of South Dakota (ACEC/SD).
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