Wet summer proves challenging for road construction

PIERRE, S.D. (KWAT) — The wet summer has brought many challenges to people who make their living in the road construction business.

South Dakota Department of Transportation Secretary Darin Bergqsuist says in several locations, including U.S. Highway 81 south of Arlington, contractors have gone in to raise the highway grade to get it out of the water. There have been other projects, too.

Bergquist says the wet weather has also slowed down ongoing road construction projects.

He says all the standing water can be hard on a highway system—particularly if it’s moving water.

Governor Kristi Noem is calling on Bergquist to work with state engineers to ensure that Interstate Highways remain open—even during times of flooding. Noem says South Dakota’s population is spread out, and, “when we lose the ability to travel on interstates and major highways due to flooding, we are compounding the disaster.”