Motorists around the country are familiar with roadway work zones sprouting during springtime, as crews rebuild traffic lanes, lay new asphalt and repair bridges. Now, in Sioux Falls, S.D., drivers on Interstate 29 are going through restrictions for another infrastructure maintenance need as workers repaint the I-90 bridges over I-29.
Periodic repainting can extend the life of bridges, helping fight off rust or other weather damage. But it can be painstaking work as crews first remove old layers and patch any areas showing deterioration before they can apply new paint. And to do it with traffic moving past means they have to work carefully since they cannot spray paint like they could if the road was closed down.
The South Dakota Department of Transportation said the $641,000 project was scheduled to begin at the I-29/I-90 interchange April 10, with traffic on I-29 be affected for three miles – from mile marker 83 just north of the Benson Road Exit to mile marker 86 near the Renner Exit.
It said the contractor would first set up traffic control for two-way traffic in the northbound lanes while maintaining access to all interchange ramps using median crossovers. Those lane closures would change as the work progresses, including switching to two-way traffic in the southbound lanes in three or four weeks.
As part of the restrictions the speed limit through the work zone is reduced to 45 mph, the department said, adding that "traffic is urged to use caution while traveling through the work zone and be alert for suddenly slowing and merging traffic."
The contractor is anticipating having most of the work completed by June 1, with only minor clean-up remaining afterward.
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