With the construction of a new retail store planned in Madison's Lakeview Industrial Park next to SD-34, the local economic development corporation and city officials have decided to design and finance new highway turn-offs at the Industry Ave. intersection.

Eric Fosheim, executive director of the Lake Area Improvement Corporation, spoke with the Madison City Commission on Monday about having the city contribute $170,000 to a project to improve the turn lanes that motorists will use to access the Runnings retail store planned along the south side of SD-34. Runnings, a home, farm and outdoor equipment store chain, plans to construct a new 68,000 square-foot retail outlet during the next year on the south side of Madison.

According to Fosheim, the LAIC sponsored an intersection analysis that included the intersection at SD-34 and Industry Ave. The analysis report supported changes to SD-34 to assist traffic flow. Fosheim added that officials with the South Dakota Department of Transportation expressed interest in improving the turn lanes at the intersection when the possibility of Tru Shrimp constructing a shrimp-raising facility in Madison was proposed in early 2019.

Fosheim told the city commissioners that the new store proposed by Runnings would alone increase traffic at the Industry Ave. intersection.

Runnings purchased Campbell's Supply, a general merchandise chain with seven stores in South Dakota and Iowa, in January 2020. Campbell's Supply operates a store on N.E. 3rd St. in Madison and, since the purchase, Runnings decided to relocate on the south side of the city.

Fosheim asked Madison officials to help provide the construction funds for building the expanded turn lanes. He proposed that the city set aside $170,000 in second-penny sales tax revenue in its 2021 budget to pay for the project.

Commissioners Kelly Johnson and Jeremiah Corbin expressed their support for funding the turn-lane improvement project. Corbin said Madison would likely see benefits from the sales-tax revenue that Runnings would provide to the city.

The engineer's estimate of probable cost for constructing the expanded turn lanes is $166,550. The total estimate includes $131,660 for construction costs that includes base installation, pavement, striping and seeding. The total also includes $13,166 for contingency expenses and $21,724 for nonconstruction costs.

According to Fosheim, Runnings officials plan to break ground on the new store in October and plan to open for business next summer.

"We've got some time until next summer," Fosheim said.

Commissioner Mike Waldner asked Fosheim if a construction contractor could start work on the project and complete the improvements while Runnings was building the new store. Fosheim said LAIC officials wanted to complete the turn-off improvements as soon as possible but they still needed to hire a construction contractor.

Commissioner Bob Thill asked Fosheim about the schedule for state transportation engineers to survey the intersection for the project. Fosheim replied that a private company would perform the survey and state engineers would review their work. He said the surveyors provided a five- to seven-week schedule for conducting the work.

In 2009, Madison provided $125,000 to a project that expanded turn lanes on SD-34 next to the John Deere dealership, now called Kibble Equipment.