Just 45 days ago, we wrote that when the weather warmed up to an acceptable level, D&G Concrete Construction should work quickly to complete the S. Washington Avenue project.
We still had snow on the ground, cold temperatures and a growing problem with the novel coronavirus. We expressed some concern that the project would remain incomplete for too long.
We're here to say that D&G jumped on the job and has made tremendous progress already. We don't know if the South Dakota Department of Transportation urged D&G, or if the company's management made completion their top priority, or another reason. But we're glad to see the progress.
While the roadway itself was open over the winter, there was much work left over. Approaches to side streets, business and homes weren't done. Only three blocks of sidewalks (out of roughly 24 blocks) were complete. Only a half-dozen street lights had been installed, making the south end very dark at night. Some curbs and corner "cutouts" were missing. Landscaping hadn't been started.
But in recent weeks, we can see visual progress on all of those. Virtually all of the east side has sidewalks. The side street approaches are done. Concrete bases for light poles are being poured this week.
As happy as we are, the businesses along that route are even happier. Their approaches will be done soon, and customers will be able to visit more easily. When the peak of the pandemic passes, those businesses should see substantial traffic increases.
Let's hope for continued progress until completion.
-- Jon M. Hunter