Daktronics Hosts Ribbon Cutting Event to Mark Completion of 34th Avenue Project
BROOKINGS, S.D. – November 9, 2015 – The paving of 34th Avenue from Prince Drive to 32nd Street South is complete and the road is now open for use. Daktronics Inc. (NASDAQ-DAKT) of Brookings, S.D., hosted a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, to mark the completion of the project.
Representatives from the City of Brookings, Brookings County, Bowes Construction, Banner Associates, L.G. Everist, Falcon Plastics, Counterpart, Inc., Daktronics, Inc., MyPlace Suites, and the East Brookings Business and Industry Association (EBBIA) were present.
"This is a great day," declared Al Kurtenbach, Daktronics co-founder and EBBIA board member. "To have a frontage road on both sides of Interstate 29, connected by our three interchanges and one overpass, that is really significant. Infrastructure matters. This is a huge step forward and something for all of us to be proud of."
Kurtenbach continued, "I want to recognize Banner Associates and Bowes Construction, the engineer and the contractor that did the work. It's nice to have home people helping home people."
Brookings County Commissioner Tom Yseth thanked the taxpayers and the prior and current commissioners. "Their judicious use of those taxpayer dollars made it possible to have the money available for the project. As this project did not receive any federal or state money to build the road, it's an excellent example of public and private partnership for the development of our community," said Yseth. "And thank you to the city for agreeing to do their part when we were ready."
Yseth also informed the group that thanks to Pheasants Forever and the Brookings County Pheasant Restoration Chapter, the roadside has been planted with a mix of grasses and wildflowers important to wildlife and pollinators. "In two to three years, employees in the East Brookings Business District will drive by beautiful native grasses and flowers. This plot will be used as a demonstration to implement in other parts of the state."
Brookings County Commissioner Ryan Krogman noted that this project is an integral part of the safety of the county and the city with the planned construction on the overpass on 6th Street/Highway 14 in two years. "Getting this in now will allow workers over here to get safely back and forth in a timely fashion," said Krogman. "I love the idea of us as a community planning out to the future and cooperating with the city. This was a great effort and I'm happy to be a part of it."
Krogman and Yseth both extended their thanks to the landowners along 34th Avenue. "Everist, Bowes, the Golden family and the Freyberg family… everyone was behind it," said Yseth. "It was a lot of work, but it was fun because you saw how people came together."
"On behalf of the mayor and city council, I would like to extend our appreciation from the city to the county board for the leadership the county took and everyone involved with East Brookings," said Jeff Weldon, city manager. "This is clearly an example of what can happen when partnerships can occur and things get done."
Weldon continued, "This was a great project and is huge for the community, the businesses, and the growth of the city and county as well. We need to remember, we're not done. We need to do this 20th Street interchange going east and west to help complement the new road." Weldon noted work has started, with engineering work and pre-work underway. "The kind of teamwork and diligence that has been shown on this project, it can carry over and (the interchange) can get done," said Weldon. "I'm going to ask everyone to stay involved, stay engaged so we can continue to expand upon the success and the completion of the project by making 20th Street extend all the way down to 34th Avenue."
Jay Bender, president, Falcon Plastics and EBBIA board member, said that East Brookings is doing everything they can to help with this side of the interstate, to help the city and the county in general, and help the growth of the community. "This is just one small example of how we can help, not just with our words, but also financially," said Bender. "This will be good for east Brookings and maybe we can even get more businesses over here to get more involved to help the city grow."
Bender continued, "You're starting to see other communities in the state jump over to the other side of the interstate and we're doing it here. Daktronics was probably the first one to come over here and Falcon moved to Brookings in 1975. There wasn't much over here then and not much infrastructure at all. But look at it now. I think it's in a strong position to continue to grow.
"The partnerships are what really make this town and this county great. There's so many examples of it, so many leaders in this community and everybody working together, the results speak for themselves," said Bender.
Yseth also extended his thanks and appreciation to Banner Associates, Bowes Construction, and those who contributed to the project, either financially or in-kind: Daktronics, Falcon Plastics, Counterpart, Bowes Construction, L.G. Everist, and Winter Construction.
Additionally, Yseth thanked Brookings Municipal Utilities (Steve Meyer and Paul Melby), Sioux Valley Energy (Tim McCarthy, Ted Smith, Michele Nielson, and Jim Kuyper), Greg Christenson with Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad, South Dakota Railroad Safety Engineer Susan Tracy, and Brookings County Highway Superintendent Dick Birk, Commission Department Director Stacy Steffensen, the other commissioners, and Deputy States Attorney Abigail Howard.