Open House Thursday On Upcoming Hot Springs Downtown Hwy Project -CORRECTION ON DATE

      The long-discussed and planned upgrading of 2.3-miles of Hwys 385 and 18 in downtown Hot Springs has finally reached the public open house stage.

      Representatives from the South Dakota Dept of Transportation, City of Hot Springs, Ferber Engineering, and Complete Contracting Solutions will meet the public Thursday night starting at 6:00 at the Mueller Civic Center in Hot Springs.

       There will be a short presentation at 6:00 giving an overview of the project, which includes replacing most asphalt paving with concrete and construction of a 3-mile suspended sidewalk over the Fall River to create a wider driving area.

     After the initial presentation, the various representatives will be available for one-on-one questions and explanations. 

      The original bids for the Hot Springs project were rejected as too high, but the state in November awarded a $31-½-million dollar contract to Complete Contracting, even though it was almost 43% or $9.5-million over the $22-million dollar estimate.

    SD-DOT Engineering Manager Sam Weisgram said at the time that the state felt rebidding again would not have a significant impact on the final costs since all the bids were close.

      Weisgram blamed the high bids on multiple factors including the current market condition, the location, and the complexities of working in a narrow urban area adjacent to historic buildings. 

      The work will start this spring and be done in 14 sections, an approach that will allow it to be finished in just 2 years instead of the 3 or 4 years originally planned.. 

      The city’s portion of the costs will be $5.6-million dollars – $3.9-million for the suspended sidewalk and $1.73-million for replacing sewer and water lines.