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Smooth road ahead: Highway project complete: Surge of construction continues for local businesses

Travelers through Lennox on Highway 17 have noticed a change — a smooth open highway now open. The South Dakota Department of Transportation began the $3.5 million project in April. It included a complete reconstruction from the north city limits of Lennox to Highway 44.

Most of the State’s work was completed by the October 1st completion date, the work on the railroad crossing was held up a little longer. According to a BNSF Railway spokesperson, Amy McBeth, the company put in a new concrete surface at that crossing and they upgraded the signal system there.

McBeth said, “BNSF is continually maintaining our network to continue our safe operations.”

With the railroad crossing done, all that seems to remain now is the street lights along the highway.

Engineering Supervisor with the SD Department of Transportation, Mike Heiberger expressed his thanks for the community’s patience.

He said, “First and foremost, the South Dakota Department of Transportation and the prime contractor, Journey Group dba Black Top Paving, would like to thank the residents of Lennox and the surrounding area for their patience. Like most construction projects, there were inconveniences created by the construction as well as delays encountered. Our hope is that your patience was rewarded with the finishing of the railroad crossing and opening of the roadway. Our hope is that this section of highway will help assist the City of Lennox in welcoming visitors and provide a viable section of highway for many years to come.”

Citizens in Lennox will continue to watch construction unfold as many area businesses are beginning or continuing work.

Total Stop Convenience Store located on Highway 17 at the corner of 4th Ave. is upgrading their pumps and tanks. Eric Machmuller, operating partner of Total Stop, said the work began last week and is scheduled to be completed about the second week in November.

He said, “Monday, we’ll shut the gas pumps off and hopefully it will take two weeks to take out and put back in.”

Customers will notice a change at the pumps as well. Total Stop will be offering several new grades in fuel, such as 91 Octane Premium, along with their usual 10% Ethanol and blender pumps will be added up to e85.

Machmuller said the pumps at the station will also feature integrated televisions. He said, “You can check the news and weather while you pump your gas.”

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