Rotary Park Construction Will Begin This Week

Work will begin this week to relocate and reconstruct Rotary Park near East 26th Street and Southeastern Avenue. Relocating Rotary Park to the west side of the Big Sioux River is the first phase of the East 26th Street and I-229 reconstruction project, which is scheduled to begin in 2019.

This week, people will notice the area of Rotary Park on the west side of the Big Sioux River being cleared to prepare for construction next spring. Numerous trees will be removed to create space for new park features, which will include new trees and landscaping, a picnic shelter, restroom, playground, and parking lot. Installation of the new park features will begin in April 2018, and the park will open to the public in the fall of 2018.

“Rotary Park is a highly utilized park where the playground, bike trail access, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, picnics, and more can be enjoyed by all. We are excited to offer our residents and visitors a brand-new, expanded Rotary Park, coming in 2018,” says Don Kearney, Director of Parks and Recreation.

Rotary Park’s existing features on the east side of the river will remain through their life expectancy, except for the parking lot and driveway. Access to the park will be moved to the west side of the river due to the new elevation of the 26th Street bridge. A new pedestrian bridge over the Big Sioux River will connect the west side to the east side. This project will also enhance the entrances to Rotary Park and the canoe launch area.

City crews from both the Public Works Street Division and Sioux Falls Fire Rescue will remove the trees. The wood from the removed trees will be donated to the South Dakota State Penitentiary.

Construction of the East 26th Street and Southeastern Avenue intersection improvements and 26th Street and I-229 interchange improvements (exit 5) will begin in 2019 with a scheduled completion date of late 2020. The project will increase the capacity of the East 26th Street and Southeastern Avenue intersection and raise the intersection up 25 to 30 feet to allow trains to pass underneath the street. The I-229 interchange will also be reconfigured.

The Rotary Park relocation phase of the project is estimated to cost approximately $2.4 million. The East 26th Street and Southeastern Avenue intersection improvements are estimated to cost approximately $27 million. 26th Street and I-229 interchange improvements are estimated to cost approximately $13 million. The project is jointly funded by the South Dakota Department of Transportation and the City of Sioux Falls.