Posted 11 months ago

By Post Staff

Photo courtesy of  KOTA - Robert Garcia

Photo courtesy of Robert Garcia – KOTA

South Dakota’s portion of the Heartland Expressway is now officially complete, with 4 lanes open all the way from Rapid City to the Nebraska state line.

Officials marked the completion Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the south side of Rapid City, an ironic choice since that was the first section completed over 15 years ago.

Among those taking part in the ceremony were U-S Senator John Thune and South Dakota Secretary of Transportation Darin Bergquist.

Thune, who helped win initial funding for the work while South Dakota’s lone U-S House member, called completion of the widening to four lanes “the beginning of a new era of prosperity” for towns along the route.

Berquist told the audience that while South Dakota has completed its part of the project, there’s still much more work to do in Nebraska…where the 4-lane section ends at Minatare, although another 9-mile section south of Alliance is scheduled in about 2 years.

The Heartland Expressway is a federally-designated high-priority trade corrido from Denver to Rapid City…a route covering 556-miles and crossing through 4 states, but also part of the proposed Ports to Plains route from Mexico to Canada.