New interchange at 85th Street and Interstate 29 could start construction as soon as 2021

TEA, S.D. (KSFY) - A public information meeting was held Wednesday at Tea City Hall to discuss a potential new interchange at interstate 29 and 85th street. The interchange will create more mobility in the area.

People of the public were able to address any concerns they had or give feedback to those working on the project.

If you travel between Sioux Falls and Tea a potential upcoming project could slow your commute, but it's all in a way to create more on and off ramps for travelers.

Wednesday night an open house was held to focus on an environmental study.

"And that means we look at wetlands we look at bats we look at all kinds of environmental factors that we need to make sure are cleared through the process before we say that this project can be built," Principal Engineer for the City of Sioux Falls, Shannon Ausen said.

This new interchange is a way to support the growth and development of south Sioux Falls and Tea. It’s a way for easy access between the cities since they continue to grow.

"In the previous years we have an approved overpass at 85th street on interstate 29. It does not have ramps to the interstate so that's approved so we're taking it one step further to actually put ramps on that bridge over the interstate and that's an interchange," Ausen said.

Right now the street is nothing but a gravel road. There are also homes in this rural area.

"There are definitely going to be some impacts to some of these rural residential areas. We work through those processes with the existing homeowners," Ausen said.

An alternative option for this interchange could also be to build a diverging diamond which would add an additional exit ramp between the Tea exit and create less options for congestion.

"Locally you have 57th street and you can't go east west again until you get to Lincoln County 106 so it gives them another local east west connection," Planning Engineer of the South Dakota Department of Transportation, Steven Gramm said.

"It’s a continuing evolution in this area as it develops and Sioux Falls grows to the south and Tea and Harrisburg start growing to the north," Gramm said.

The interchange could be expected to start construction in 2021 and could last until 2023.