First Phase of Minnesota Avenue Reconstruction Complete, Accent Lighting to Debut Labor Day
Phase One of the Minnesota Avenue Reconstruction Project, which stretches from Russell to Second Street, is now complete with the installation and activation of accent lighting. The accent lighting, which is managed by the City’s Light and Power division of Public Works, will display colors on federal holidays. Its first display will be red, white, and blue in recognition of Labor Day on Monday, September 4.
Phase One of the Minnesota Avenue Reconstruction Project focused on infrastructure updates and pedestrian and roadway enhancements. For infrastructure, the project included the replacement of sanitary sewer, storm drainage improvements, and new water mains—one of which was a 42-inch main that is important for carrying water from the City’s water purification plant to the community. Pedestrian and roadway enhancements, in addition to the accent lighting, included a new center median, sidewalks, streetscaping, bus stops, wayfinding signage, and a new traffic signal at Brookings Street. The project cost was $14.07 million.
“Minnesota Avenue is a critical piece of our transportation network and City infrastructure, and serves as the gateway to downtown for visitors and residents arriving from the airport,” said Wes Philips, Principal Engineer for the City of Sioux Falls. “We have an incredible opportunity as a city to look ‘big picture’ at this important corridor, from infrastructure and pedestrian safety to development and aesthetic enhancements that match the vibrancy of downtown.”
Minnesota Avenue’s second phase is part of the City’s five-year Capital Improvement Program and will stretch from Second to Seventh Streets. The City is also focused on studying the corridor and its potential mixed-use zoning and development options through the Planning and Development Services department.
Minnesota Avenue accent lighting will follow the same schedule as the Eighth Street Bridge in downtown Sioux Falls. Accent lighting, which includes wings on the streetlights, retaining wall panels, and pedestrian lighting, is illuminated every evening between sunset and sunrise. On non-holiday evenings, the lighting will be white. For the seven days surrounding a federal holiday, the lights will be lit in coordination with that holiday. Overhead streetlights will not change colors due to public safety.
“Our goal is to enhance and recognize, not distract,” said Jerry Jongeling, the City’s Light, Power, and Traffic Superintendent. “Accent lighting will be done with recognition for federal holidays, and respect for the drivers, pedestrians, and property owners in the area.”