Sioux Falls homeowner battling city over gravel road

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 6:33 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The city of Sioux Falls plans to construct a through street in a neighborhood just north of East Arrowhead Parkway, but some in the neighborhood say the city hasn’t been transparent with the process.

When Chester DeYoung built his house in 1998 there wasn’t much around him. Since then, the city has expanded to the east, and with that comes the need for infrastructure.

“Eventually, we’ve always felt the road would come in here, we don’t have a problem with that, but you have to build it to current city codes,” DeYoung said.

The issue lies with how the city wants to construct the road, connecting Grant Street where there currently is a gap in the road, by laying down gravel.

“The property owners out here don’t want gravel, they want it to be a hard surface if it’s going to go in, and we want it done right the first time,” DeYoung said.

With several businesses in the area, volleyball courts, and an apartment complex going up next to his property, DeYoung is concerned a gravel road won’t suffice.

In addition, traffic will overflow onto Detroit Avenue and Taylor Street.

“This road is going to dump out into a street in a residential area, with parking on both sides, and no sidewalk on either side,” DeYoung said.

Andy Berg, an engineer with the city of Sioux Falls, says the plan is to widen that entire gravel section of Grant Street to at least 18 feet and perform routine maintenance once it’s finished.

“We understand there are challenges with it, but the decision has been made that it’s time to open it up... which we have numerous others in the city that are the same situation,” Berg said.

Berg says because the road is an existing public right of way, the cost to pave it would fall on the nearby residents.

“If the adjoining property owners wish to pave it they can do that, but the city isn’t going to force them to pay for a paved section in that area,” Berg said. “We’re simply going to open it up to a gravel section.”

Berg says there was no public forum held for this project, but that notices were sent out to those in the neighborhood.

Regardless, DeYoung wishes the city would have taken more input from the public.

“With any construction project the city of Sioux Falls normally does, they normally visit with the adjoining property owners before they start the project, not when the project is ready to go,” DeYoung said.

The timeline for the project doesn’t have a hard deadline, however, Berg says the city expects to have it done before the end of the fall.

Copyright 2021 Dakota News Now. All rights reserved.