South Dakota Department of Transportation’s $28.7 million rebuilding effort to the Mitchell-Rapid City (MRC) freight rail line reduced wear and tear to roads and improved the transportation of agricultural goods. The project, a recipient of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds, successfully removed trucks from the road, reducing congestion for motorists and helps farmers in the area deliver their goods in a cost-saving and time-efficient method.
The freight line was in poor condition, leading to slower speeds and reluctance among local investors. SDDOT worked with the MRC Regional Rail Authority to upgrade the state-owned rail line. If a reliable rail system is not available, grain is then shipped by truck, which can lead to wear and tear on the state’s roads. With the project complete, the regional economy can function efficiently with the newly upgraded rail line while reducing damage to roads by trucks.