South Dakota DOT working on Sturgis traffic control

Publish Date: 
Apr 6, 2011

South Dakota highway officials are working on ways to tame traffic around the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August.

Todd Seaman of the South Dakota Department of Transportation and other DOT engineers are reviewing seven options reduce congestion during the rally. The end result may be a combination of those choices.

The state is attempting to reduce congestion, especially for eastbound traffic on Highway 34 out of downtown Sturgis. DOT research shows that rally traffic peaks between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. heading east on Highway 34, according to the Rapid City Journal. Many rally-goers head east in the late afternoon to get to campsites and events at the giant Buffalo Chip and Glencoe campgrounds.

Engineers must consider pedestrian and motorist safety when determining how to route traffic. Cost is a factor. "We're really trying to use the existing roadway network," Seaman says.

Project engineer Monica Heller says the state may try some of the options during this year’s rally, which will be held Aug. 8 to 14, then implement a plan for next year after a planned overlay project of Lazelle Street in downtown Sturgis is finished.

Posted by Holly Wagner