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Officials Asking Drivers To Stay Out Of Highway 34 Work Zone
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For Immediate Release: Monday, August 25, 2014

Contact: Kristi Sandal, Public Information Officer, 605.773.3265


Officials Asking Drivers To Stay Out Of Highway 34 Work Zone


PIERRE, S.D. – Officials with the South Dakota Department of Transportation are warning motorists that driving around barricades on closed sections of highways could result in a dangerous situation for drivers and a ticket.


Currently, Highway 34 is closed for two-and-a-half miles just east of Howes while the contractor repairs the dam grades and the highway adjacent to Buffalo Lake and Lake Howes.


Officials say motorists have been moving barricades and driving through the construction zone. Over the weekend, a semi-truck got stuck in the mud after heavy rains had moved through the area.


"The road is closed for a reason," says Dean VanDeWiele, Pierre area engineer. “It is extremely dangerous to drive around barricades onto a closed road because even though it appears to have a drivable surface it is not in a condition to safely carry highway traffic. We understand the detour provided is an inconvenience, but is a matter of public safety to keep travelers out of the work zone."


When motorists drive through an area that has been graded, the surface gets damaged and delays the repairs being made to the roadway.


“The contractor is working hard to get the roadway open as quickly as possible and we need the public’s cooperation,” says VanDeWiele.


Tampering with signs, barricades or other traffic control devices is in violation of SDCL 31-28-23, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor. In addition, motorists who drive around barricades are in violation of SDCL 32-28-10, a Class 2 misdemeanor.


The South Dakota Highway Patrol is monitoring the area and issuing tickets to motorists.


Travelers are urged to visit www.safetravelusa.com/sd or call 511 to check latest road conditions in their area.

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