Proposed Construction: The study scope is to determine a conceptual location for approximately 45 miles of a four-lane expressway-type facility. It includes segments of state highway between Minatare and Alliance, including US-26, L-62A and US-385. There is a signed environmental assessment for a concept for the US-26 and L 62A segments, however, some details have been updated to reflect changes which have occurred along that corridor.
Lighting/Signals/Signing: No traffic signals are anticipated under the proposed concept. Details such as lighting and signing will be determined later in the design process.
Related Studies: There was a study done in 1993 by NDOR and the South Dakota Department of Transportation which determined the economic and engineering feasiblity, in general, of a Heartland Expressway facility. There were public information meetings held at that time. The study recommended one alternative, Route Option D, which connects Scottsbluff/Gering and Rapid City via Alliance, Chadron and Hot Springs.
Right-of-Way: Major right-of-way will be required. For the entire corridor, there is planned acquisition of up to 35 buildings, 20 of which are residences and 2 of which are businesses. This breaks down to 23 buildings (including 16 residences) along US-26 and L-62A, and 12 buildings (including 4 residences and 2 businesses) along the US-385 corridor. Depending on the selected highway location, some of these may not need to be acquired.
Phasing: We do not anticipate detouring traffic during construction. The need for temporary roadways will be determined after survey and some detailed design are done.
Schedule: Constuction is not anticipated to commence for at least five years.
Estimated Cost: The recent federal highway bill, SAFET-LU, earmarked $21.5 million for construction. This is not enough money to construct a four-lane facility from Minatare to Alliance. Early estimates indicate that 10 miles or less of a four-lane facility could be constructed, out of the approximately 45 total miles of the study.