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Dakota Dunes Levee Repaired, Exit One on I-29 Re-Opened

DAKOTA DUNES, S.D. - Response workers are continuing to repair an erosion problem identified on a section of the Dakota Dunes levee Thursday morning.

To facilitate those repairs, Exit 1 on Interstate 29 was temporarily closed. That exit has been re-opened to traffic.

Officials say a scouring of the fast-moving Missouri River causes erosion on the river side of a section of levee in the Bay Hills area. The levee wasn't breached. As part of the repair process, materials, including numerous truckloads of rip-rap, were added to the face of the structure to re-enforce the section.

While that work was underway, Exit 1 was closed to all traffic except trucks hauling material to the levee. The closure delayed a plan to allow residents of Dakota Dunes to re-enter the area to check their homes.

Officials say the levee monitoring system worked as designed, and the problem was quickly detected and repaired. They are cautiously optimistic that residents of the evacuated area will be allowed to begin the re-entry process on Friday, June 17 at 10 a.m.

"We understand that residents of this area are anxious to see their homes again,'' said Sandy Frentz, public information officer. "We thank them for their patience. The safety of residents and responders is the primary concern.''