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Major road projects near Mount Rushmore close to completion

RAPID CITY (AP) -- Crews are close to finishing highway projects to improve the well-traveled byways from Interstate 90 through Rapid City and on to Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

RAPID CITY (AP) - Crews are close to finishing highway projects to improve the well-traveled byways from Interstate 90 through Rapid City and on to Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Workers are putting the final touches this month on a $32 million project to rebuild Interstate 190, a prime connector for tourists coming into downtown Rapid City, the Rapid City Journal reported.

Major changes made to I-190 include constructing separate two-lane bridges on a straightened route and a new interchange offering easier access to several sites.

"We made it a much more functional interchange, with much better service for Founder's Park, Silver Street, Central High School, the (Rushmore Plaza) Civic Center and all of north Rapid, quite honestly," said Steve Palmer, engineering supervisor for the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

Crews also installed new storm and sanitary sewers, water mains, a bike path along the interstate's west side and new sidewalks.

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The interchange opened to traffic in late August and all four northbound and southbound lanes opened a couple of weeks ago. Motorists may still face some lane closures as the project nears its official Oct. 27 completion.

A three-year, $30 million rebuilding of Mount Rushmore Road is slated for completion early next year. That road is considered the gateway to the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore.

Palmer said more big construction projects are set to begin in the near future, including repairs of an I-90 bridge.

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