48 is open!

Posted October 11, 2019 at 3:16 pm

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By Julie Ann Madden

“I’m so happy,” said The Akron Hometowner Publisher Dodie Hook, who lives just two miles west of her newspaper office, which is located at 110 Reed St. in Akron. “You don’t know how happy I am to know Highway 48 is open.”

Hook’s trying to keep the embargoed information a secret at noon lunch Monday was nearly an impossible feat!

Hook could see the silos of her family farm from Big Sioux River Road near the barricades, but her two-minute drive home has been 30 minutes long since March 14 when the Big Sioux River’s floodwaters inundated the highway, causing its closing.

After 207 days of endurance, she and her husband, Joe, went “on assignment” to have the thrill of being one of the first to drive on the repaired highway.

S.D. Department of Transportation Regional Engineer Rod Gall told The Akron Hometowner editor the repair costs are at the $400,000 mark.

Not once but twice a road contractor had to repair the asphalt surface which the flood waters washed away and fix the undermining of the highway’s concrete section.

The repairs still aren’t completely finished, said Gall, explaining there are orange traffic warning cones placed along 1,000 feet of the south shoulder where the asphalt was washed away the week of Sept. 30. These repairs will be made while the highway is open.

In 2020, S.D. Highway 48 is scheduled for resurfacing, said Gall. “The plan right now is just to do a resurfacing overlay.”

As to whether any flood-damage prevention procedures will be done on the highway is up to S.D. DOT officials in Pierre, he said, noting one consideration is to possibly install more rip-rap along that 1,000 feet of asphalt shoulder.

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