Why Is South Dakota Closing a Portion of U.S. Highway 385?

South Dakota has initiated two significant closures on U.S. Highway 385 as part of a reconstruction project aimed at improving road safety and traffic flow. These closures will impact travel in the Pactola Lake area over the coming weeks.

The project is part of a broader effort to enhance infrastructure in the region, addressing long-standing issues. Local officials have been working to inform residents and travelers about the planned disruptions.

First closure details

U.S. Highway 385 closure

The first closure, which started on May 31, 2024, affects the segment of the highway between the Pactola North boat ramp and Pactola Dam. This section will remain closed for eight weeks, with the expected reopening date set for July 12, 2024. During this period, motorists will need to use alternate routes to navigate around the closed section.

The closure is necessary to allow crews to work safely and efficiently on the improvements. Signs and warnings have been placed along the affected routes to guide drivers.

Second closure information

The second closure impacts the stretch between State Highway 44 and the Pactola North boat ramp. This segment will be closed until June 7, 2024, with the highway reopening temporarily on weekends to ease travel for local residents and visitors.

This weekend access aims to minimize the impact on local businesses and tourism. Authorities have coordinated with local communities to provide updates and support during the closure.

Detour routes

Highway 385 construction

Drivers affected by these closures should use State Highway 44 and U.S. Highway 16 as detour routes. These alternative routes are expected to handle the diverted traffic, ensuring minimal disruption to travel plans.  Motorists are encouraged to allow extra travel time and follow posted detour signs.

Officials have assured that these detour routes are well-maintained and can handle the increased traffic volume.

What are the project goals?

The primary goals of the reconstruction project include improving road shoulders, curves, traffic flow, and surface quality. These upgrades are crucial for enhancing safety and efficiency on this busy highway. The project will also include updates to drainage systems and signage.

However, some boat ramps at Pactola Lake will be inaccessible during the construction period, affecting recreational activities in the area. Local authorities are working to provide alternative access points where possible.

Travelers are advised to plan their routes accordingly and stay updated on the progress of the construction to minimize inconvenience. Regular updates will be provided through local news outlets and transportation websites.