Have you ever wondered: Why isn't the signal at Empire Place for all directions of traffic?

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - 41st Street at the Empire Mall in Sioux Falls is one of the busiest roads in the city and one viewer is concerned about a certain intersection in that area.

When drivers are coming out of the private driveway at Empire Place and 41st Street and want to turn left, there is no turn signal for them.
That place at 41st Street is what engineers call a 3-leg intersection with a traffic signal in only three directions.

"It wasn't necessarily standard practice to signalize a driveway approach into an intersection like that," Heath Hoftiezer said, who is the principal traffic engineer for the city of Sioux Falls. "We have looked at this intersection in doing something."

Now, the city of Sioux Falls is working with the South Dakota Department of Transportation on a project that could address this concern. 41st Street is getting completely reconstructed from just west of Marion Road to Shirley Avenue.

"The concrete pavement through there is reaching the end of its service life. So from a condition standpoint, it's right there ready for reconstruction," Travis Dressen said, who is the Sioux Falls area engineer for the department of transportation. "And then looking at the crashes, there's certainly a lot of crashes."

41st Street will be expanded to three lanes in each direction.

"There will be a raised concrete median on 41st Street, so that will limit some of the left-hand turns that are unrestricted," Dressen said.

An example of an unrestricted left-hand turn is the one at Empire Place.

"It's a nonstandard intersection with having that approach on the opposite side. As we get further into design we will need to look at how these accesses are designed," he said.

The project will also rebuild the interchange for I-29 and include a diverging diamond interchange. Drivers can only find about 70 to 80 of them across the United States. This will be the second diverging diamond interchange in South Dakota by the time construction starts. Construction is expected to start in 2023. The first of that interchange will be built in Rapid City before then.