Cherry Street plans revealed

Cherry Street plans revealed Vermillion businessman Larry Brady (left) listens as Rick Laughlin of the South Dakota DOT describes the changes in store for Vermillion's Cherry Street. By David Lias The South Dakota Department of Transportation billed it as public hearing and open house.

There was little resemblance to a hearing, however, as the state DOT presented its plans for Cherry Street Tuesday in Vermillion�s National Guard Armory.

Citizens pored over aerial maps of the street, and talked one-on-one with DOT officials. Transportation personnel held no formal meeting.

The state hopes to begin work on the street, officially known as S.D. Highway 50 L, at its west junction with S.D. Highway 19 in 2007.

Work will proceed east to the beginning of the divided highway on the city�s eastern edge, beneath the overpass.

The DOT proposes to replace the street�s surface with concrete pavement. It will add a left turn lane at the west junction of S.D. Highway 19, and add a center turn lane from James Street to Cottage Avenue and from Plum to Crawford streets.

Estimated cost of the project is $4.6 million.

Storm sewers and sidewalk will be replaced where necessary. Water and sewer lines, presently located on the sides of Cherry, will be relocated under the center of the street.

The state will add 8-foot asphalt shoulders from James Street to Cottage Avenue.

Cherry Street was constructed in 1952. The last time it was improved was 1980.

The average daily traffic (ADT) for the street in 2002 was 10,205.

The state has projected the ADT on Cherry will grow to 14,780 by 2022.

�Between Plum Street and the (eastern) overpass, the street will be widened from four to five lanes,� said Rick Laughlin, a corridor preservation specialist with the DOT�s Sioux Falls office. �The motivation for this project is the concrete is getting in poor shape, and this will be an opportunity to put in center turn lanes in places where we need them,� he said.

Laughlin said workers will try to build one-half of the street at a time to maintain access to all properties located along the major Vermillion traffic corridor.

�People are saying we need the center turn lanes,� Laughlin said. �They need to turn into properties, and right now they are having some safety problems.�

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