ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Mitchell hoping to replace downtown traffic lights since vehicles keep running into them

The Mitchell City Council approved HR Green’s bid to design the traffic signal lights at a cost of $66,509.

TrafficLightReplacement-3.jpg
Shown here is a traffic signal light at the Seventh Avenue and Main Street intersection that city officials are seeking to have replaced.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — A pair of aging traffic signal lights at two busy Mitchell intersections that have been hit by vehicles could be replaced soon.

To avoid traffic light vs. vehicle run-ins at the First Avenue and Main Street and Seventh Avenue and Main Street intersections, the city is bringing in an engineering firm to design new traffic signals.

According to Public Works Director Joe Schroeder, the traffic signal lights at both intersections — which date back to the early 1990s — have sustained damage over the years from vehicles running into them.

“We have issues with vehicles, mainly semis, hitting and moving them,” Schroeder said of the traffic signal lights.

As part of the project, the traffic signal poles will be replaced and potentially moved to avoid semis and vehicles running into them. The ADA accessible pedestrian ramps along the sidewalk at the intersections would also be improved during the project. Push buttons for pedestrians seeking to cross the intersections would also be installed on the traffic lights.

ADVERTISEMENT

Determining exactly where the new traffic light signals should be moved at the intersections will be included in the design phase of the project that was approved by the Mitchell City Council on Monday.

The first phase of the project will entail designing the new traffic lights. The Mitchell City Council approved HR Green’s bid to design the traffic signal lights at a cost of $66,509.

Prior to approving the design phase, council member John Doescher questioned city officials about why a $66,509 agreement to design the lights is needed considering the city is already aware of semis running into the traffic light poles.

TrafficLightReplacement-8.jpg
Shown here are the traffic signal lights at the First Avenue and Main Street intersection that city officials are seeking to have replaced.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

“If we know semis are hitting these signals, I think we could figure out how and where to move them. Why do we have to pay $66,000 to tell us something we already know?” Doescher said, noting, "it just doesn’t make sense.”

In response to Doescher’s inquiry, Schroeder said state law requires the city to open bids for the design phase of the project.

“They are going to provide construction documents that a contractor can build off,” Schroeder said.

HR Green, a Sioux Falls-based engineering firm, previously designed the new traffic signal lights at the Highway 37 bypass and Minnesota Street intersection.

As for the rough project timeline, the schedule would seek to have the traffic lights installed at both intersections by September 2023.

ADVERTISEMENT

TrafficLightReplacement-4.jpg
Shown here is a traffic signal light at the Seventh Avenue and Main Street intersection that city officials are seeking to have replaced.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
What To Read Next
“Why would we create new major programs, when we can’t even fund the programs that we have?” a public education lobbyist said in opposition to Noem's three-year, $15 million proposal.
"If we show we are complacent with areas like this that clearly need addressing, we’re not improving as a city,” Mitchell Republic Editor Luke Hagen said during the city council meeting discussion.
Artificial intelligence can now act as an artist or a writer. Does that mean AI is ready to play doctor? Many institutions, including Mayo Clinic, believe that AI is ready to become a useful tool.
Discussion will take place during the 6 p.m. meeting on Monday at City Hall