Louise Avenue construction to begin on Monday

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - Sioux Falls' flagship road construction project from 41st to 49th streets along Louise Ave. is set to begin on Monday.

The project is expected to take until mid-November to complete. It will include entire roadway resurfacing, and reconstruction, widening Louise Ave. from five lanes to six and creating a median, as a well as a left hand turn lane at select intersections. The project will also include new adaptive traffic signals for better traffic flow, utility and other underground infrastructure improvements.

41st St. and Louise Ave. see about 26,000 drivers each day, while the 49th and Louise intersection see almost 40,000.

"It's crazy busy -- it's so busy-- there's a lot of traffic all week long and weekends are really bad," said Jescika Johannsen, the store manager at Rudolph's Shoe Mart.

Businesses in the area are weighing the pros and cons.

"I'm pretty excited for it, for the fact that there'll be a lot less accidents, cause we see a lot out the windows in the front here," said Johannsen. "But it will hinder some of our traffic flow coming in."

Across the street at Riddle's Jewelry, store manager Brent Reisenauer said, he doesn't think it will impact their business.

"We'll continue to have competitive pricing, as always," said Resienauer.

Resienauer said his customers haven't been concerned about the construction, and that because the 41st intersection is the last to be touched, he's believes people will have plenty of other ways to get to Riddle's.

"The city has been very forward with what's going to happen, as well as the contractors stopping by to discuss the construction plans with us," he said.

"We're at the end of the project. There's plenty of access off 41st and the side streets as well so i don't believe getting to the side businesses is going to be a problem."

The Empire Mall thinks that the construction will actually help, not hinder things.

"People love activity so I think we'll see more traffic just because something's going on," said Ron Soucie, the general manager at The Empire Mall.

And the mall might be on to something ...

"If we can entice them [shoppers] tp come to this area, guess what they do?" Mayor Mike Huether asked on Thursday. "They spend their hard-earned dollars right here."

Another bonus for shoppers? A project that's already gotten underway.

"They're making some upgrades in the parking lots to help traffic flow," explained Soucie.

The general consensus among businesses?

"We're a little worried about the traffic flow, [during the project] but glad the project is happening," Johannsen said.