- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - Some residents of northeastern South Dakota want the state Department of Transportation to boost safety on a stretch of U.S. Highway 12.

They say the stretch between Ipswich and Aberdeen has become dangerous due to truck traffic, reckless drivers and speed limit changes.

Some residents said during a Tuesday night meeting with DOT officials that they would like to see the two-lane road expanded to a four-lane divided highway, the American News (https://bit.ly/29DABqM ) reported.

“Two lanes (per side) would make it safer,” said Roxy Hilgenberg, a local resident. “It needs to be four-lane so that there is room for those who are driving safe to survive.”

Hilgenberg and Colleen Forkel said they often fear for their lives while driving on the highway.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked in the rearview mirror and braced myself. … ‘Am I going to make this one or aren’t I?” Colleen Forkel said. “Am I going to live through this or not?’ And that’s a true concern.”

Resident Sophie Leitzke said that truck safety is also a concern on the highway.

“We no longer have little farm trucks,” she said. “Most everyone has a semi and some pull-pups. There are four big grain terminals between the end of the divided highway west of Aberdeen and the east Ipswich city limits. Each grain terminal needs a dedicated turning lane.”

DOT Deputy Secretary Joel Jundt said the comments would be taken into consideration. He also said the agency has to wait for a study to be completed later this year before a plan can be created.

DOT Planning and Engineering Director Mike Behm said motorists can help by driving more safely.


Information from: Aberdeen American News, https://www.aberdeennews.com

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