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Costs near $10M for Cedar Shore bank work

PIERRE — The South Dakota Department of Transportation is committing more than $4 million from federal, state and local sources as its piece of a nearly $10 million project to stabilize the shoreline for the Cedar Shore resort complex along the Missouri River at Oacoma.

The state Transportation Commission approved adding the project to DOT’s 2014 construction plan Thursday.

DOT’s work will occur along George Mickelson Shoreline Drive, named for the late governor. His administration spearheaded the move two decades ago to build a major resort along the river where Interstate 90 crosses the Missouri.

Joel Jundt, DOT’s director of planning and engineering, said much of the work would occur in late fall and winter. That is when the reservoir there is drawn to a low level.

Erosion repair, bank stabilization and installation of rip-rap to protect the shoreline’s natural walls are planned.

The road officially is a Lyman County highway but a long-standing contract commits DOT to maintaining the two-lane pavement. Jundt said the road and the Cedar Shore marina were built by DOT. “A lot of chalk rock” was used for the marina, he said.

“There’s no doubt we have responsibilities on that road, even though it’s not a state road,” Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist told the state commission.

Chairman Mike Trucano, of Deadwood, said he’d vote to add the project to DOT’s 2014 list but he politely urged that DOT work to eventually remove itself from further obligations for the road. “It seems to me,” Trucano said, “the time to make new agreements is right before you write a check for 4 million bucks.”

Bergquist said Oacoma city officials are discussing taking the road from the county but the transfer isn’t final. Jundt said there’s no concern the road will slide into the reservoir but the long stretch of bluffs is slowly migrating to the water.

Bergquist said the commission discussed the project in executive session more than a year ago. The vote Thursday was the first official action to add the project to the state plan.

The state Department of Game, Fish and Parks has responsibility for Cedar Shore hotel, camp areas and marina.

The resort complex contract recently was transferred to a new vendor, U.S. Hotel and Resort Management Inc., a subsidiary of The Ramkota Companies based in Sioux Falls.

GF&P’s piece of the shoreline project calls for spending $5,750,000 to create a giant retaining wall that uses concrete pillars. The concrete is poured into drilled shafts through the soil to reach rock bed.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing $4 million for the overall project, with $1 million used by GFP and $3 million by DOT.

GF&P also is tapping $1.5 million from the U.S. Coast Guard and $250,000 from GF&P’s budget, along with a $3 million state bond issue authorized by the Legislature. The bonds will be paid using GF&P’s receipts from the management company.

DOT is committing $690,000 from its budget along with a total of $3.3 million, primarily from FEMA along with smaller amounts from Oacoma and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

GF&P has started work on its share of the project. Doug Hofer, director for the state Division of Parks and Recreation, provided a tour and overview of the marina work when the Game, Fish and Parks Commission held its April meeting at Cedar Shore.