SPEARFISH — Now, well underway in Phase 2, the Jackson Boulevard construction project is nearing a substantial completion milestone with much of the work from Exit 12 to 3rd Street all but wrapped up.

“The east end of the Jackson Phase 2 Project is nearly complete. All that remains is street lighting and finishing the landscaping,” said Assistant Public Works Director Adam McMahon, in a prepared statement to the Pioneer. “The reason for the incomplete or missing streetlights throughout the project is that faulty streetlights were delivered to the project and the manufacturer is working to manufacture and deliver replacements.”

McMahon said that all underground utility lines all been have been installed as well as the curb and gutter, and milling on the west end of the project from 3rd Street to University Street.

“The reason for the detour of eastbound traffic between Harvard Street and Saint Joe Street is because Jackson Boulevard between University Street and Saint Joe Street is too narrow for two lanes of traffic on half of the street,” McMahon said.

Asphalt overlay on the north (Black Hills State University) side of the project was completed over the weekend, and is scheduled to be finished on the south (Passion Play) side of the project early this week.

“Primarily after this week it’s going to be just finishing up sidewalks, cleaning up and a lot of landscaping that’s still left from the (Jackson Boulevard) bridge, west to University (Street). And then obviously a heck of a lot of striping that will go on too for the roadway and the roundabout,” said Spearfish City Engineer Kyle Mathis.

Along with Jackson Boulevard getting a much-needed makeover, the Jackson Boulevard Bridge is undergoing a massive renovation, which McMahon said, has updated its infrastructure and improved its longevity.

“The new curb and sidewalk are complete on both sides of the bridge. The sealing membrane has been completed on the north half of the bridge,” he said. “The new bridge railing is scheduled to be completed in October and installed shortly thereafter. The new tan colored coating on the sides of the bridge and the retaining walls under the bridge will be completed prior to then.”

But probably the most telling sign that the nearly half a decade-long project is coming to fruition is the roundabout taking shape at the intersection of Jackson Boulevard and Ames Street.

“It was an oddball intersection before, traffic signals that were in there were not compliant, they were not placed properly and it’ll be a better flowing intersection and roundabouts tend to be safer than standard traffic signal intersection too,” Mathis explained. “It’s fairly simple, and I think (people) will get used to it fairly quickly.”

Mathis said the concrete sections comprising the roundabout had been placed for a few weeks now, with the work crews taking great care not to interfere too much with the business and private residence accesses. When all is said and done, Mathis said Jackson Boulevard will transmission from a two-lane road headed in either direction to a one-lane road at 3rd Street and University Street. The roundabout will also be one lane.

A four-ton-20-foot-tall stainless steel “Hive Sculpture,” designed by artist Dale Lamphere as well as a sign for Black Hills State University are scheduled to be installed in the center of the roundabout on Sept. 7 and 9, respectively, McMahon said.

The overall contract completion date for both the Jackson Boulevard and Jackson Boulevard Bridge projects is Nov. 15. Both Mathis and McMahon said the contractor is on schedule to complete both projects by the deadline.

“It’s been a long haul, it’s been a very long project, but it’s starting to really take shape and I believe we’re going to have a really nice street there when we get all done,” Mathis said.

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