Mitchell streets to see increase in chip sealing, completion of East 10th Avenue project this summer

Crews will be chip sealing streets spanning 180 city blocks and complete the East 10th Avenue project that's left a Mitchell road gravel for about a year.

A road closed sign blocks off a portion of East 10th Avenue in Mitchell on Monday, May 8, 2023. The completion of the project is one of many road construction projects crews will tackle this summer.
Sam Fosness / Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — After a brutal winter, the city of Mitchell’s street crews have plenty of roads to tend to this summer.

On Monday, crews began filling cracks and potholes along streets on the west edge of Mitchell, including Thomsen Place, Loma Linda Drive and a portion of West Norway Avenue stretching from Ohlman Street to Miller Avenue.

The crack filling work is just a small portion of what city crews will tackle during this summer’s road construction season.

Luke Nagel, left, and Kevin Hughes the city of Mitchell's public works department fill potholes with asphalt along Foster Street just north of Havens Avenue on Monday in Mitchell. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Luke Nagel, left, and Kevin Hughes, with the city of Mitchell's Public Works Department fill potholes with asphalt along Foster Street in the summer of 2021.
Mitchell Republic file photo

Looking ahead, Mitchell residents can expect to see a bit more chip sealing along streets this summer, thanks to a lower bid amount for material compared to last year's bids.

“Regardless of how rough the winter was on our roads, we follow a regular schedule to chip seal every year. We regularly chip seal because it prolongs the life of the street,” Mitchell Public Works Director Joe Schroeder said of the chip sealing process.


According to Schroeder, crews will be chip sealing roughly 180 city blocks, an increase from last year’s amount. There are about 120 miles of streets within the city limits, and the 180 blocks of roads that will be chip sealed equates to 12.5 miles of city streets.

The low bid for the raw materials needed to chip seal streets provided an opportunity for the city to cover more ground this year, Schroeder said.

One bid for the emulsion — the material used to apply chip seal — came in roughly $100 less than last year’s cost. The per ton cost for the primary emulsion the city uses for chip sealing was $705.73, down from last year’s $776.62 per ton rate.

Schroeder said it's becoming rare to see bids for city projects to come in lower than previous year’s bid amounts.

“Costs for these types of products typically follow oil prices,” Schroeder said.

In early May, crude oil prices dipped to as low as $75.33 per barrel, marking a decrease of $38 per barrel compared to last year’s prices at the same time in 2022.

Another key road improvement project that will be completed soon is the East 10th Avenue reconstruction, which was halted by weather conditions last year.

“Sidewalks and approaches are currently being completed on that. They are about halfway done on those. When they are done, we will come back in and grade the gravel and pave it,” Schroeder said of the East 10th Avenue project.


A three-block stretch of East 10th Avenue extending from North Lawler Street to Joe Quintal Field is the lone street in the area that’s still gravel. When finished, East 10th Avenue will have new asphalt and water pipes underneath.

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.
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