The construction on the Highway 115 Project has continued slowly throughout the months of 2018, but Dell Rapids City Administration still believes that the majority of the concrete work will be completed before the end of the year.
City Administrator Justin Weiland gave a report to the Dell Rapids City Council during their regular meeting on Monday, November 5th. Weiland mentioned that he thinks T&R Contracting will get the main paving done yet this year, and that is what the contract states. The contract does also roll into June of 2019 for finish work. Weiland mentioned that the city probably won’t see the trails poured or the seeding done this year.
“They’re going to have to come in and play cleanup in the spring,” Weiland said.
Weiland also mentioned an issue was recently discovered with the project. The bridge elevation just west of the four-way stop was designed at a lower elevation than the design for the road elevation. The issue was not caught before construction, but plans are for that issue to be fixed. Weiland mentioned that the road diversion has not been removed yet, and he thinks once the rest of the concrete is complete west of the bridge, traffic will be routed back to the diversion to fix the elevation issue. Weiland also said that he wasn’t sure exactly how T&R Contracting plans to fix the issue, but it will be fixed. A temporary blacktop patch has been put in place to allow traffic through while concrete work continues.
Not only has the project been delayed, and now has an issue with the bridge elevation, the city of Dell Rapids has also seen a decline in sales tax revenues. The council was presented with numbers for September, and once again the sales tax revenues were down compared to 2017. July was down 11.68%, August was down 23.24%, and September was down 6.7%.
“This highway project, in my opinion, has affected sales tax within the community. The biggest thing that we want to make sure is that people’s trends haven’t changed, or they haven’t altered their habits,” Weiland said.
He also mentioned that once the majority of the project has been completed, they city plans to work with the Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce and media outlets to get the word out to people that the city is “back open for business”.