Lewis & Clark Regional Water System construction to be fully completed by 2030

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TEA, South Dakota (KCAU) – Construction is moving full speed ahead at Lewis & Clark on its regional water system.

The water system, which is meant to provide water to systems in southeast South Dakota, northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota, is celebrating its 30th year of incorporation and is celebrating its 20th anniversary of being authorized by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in July.

“As we celebrate these important milestones, we are very pleased that construction is moving full speed ahead this summer,” Executive Director Troy Larson said.

Construction recently started on three projects and is expected to begin on a fourth in September. Work is also finishing up on a fifth project. The five projects represent a combined total of $54.1 million in construction.

The pipeline portion of the construction consists of three projects being done by Carstensen Contracting of Dell Rapids, South Dakota. The three projects are part of the transmission line that will provide water to the Iowa towns of Sioux Center, Hull, and Sheldon.

Carstensen Contracting is nearing the completion of 11.2 miles of pipe that started at Beresford and headed east. Construction on this started in the spring of 2019 and costs around $9.8 million.

Carstensen is constructing another 10 miles of pipe starting in Sioux Center and heading west. The substantial completion deadline for this part of the project is December 2020 and will cost around $8.2 million.

Carstensen plans to begin construction on 12.6 miles of pipe between Sioux Center and Beresford in September, which includes the Big Sioux River crossing. There will be about 7.6 miles of pipeline on the Iowa side and around 5 miles on the South Dakota side. The substantial completion deadline for this portion is December 2021 and will cost around $19 million.

The well contract will consist of one project costing around $10.4 million. Welfl Construction of Yankton, South Dakota, is constructing a radial collector well along the banks of the Missouri River southwest of Vermillion. The well is projected to produce around 16 million gallons a day. By comparison, most of Lewis & Clark’s 11 vertical wells produce around 3 million gallons a day. The completion of this project is projected to be done by April 2022.

The water tower contract will also consist of one project costing around $6.7 million. Caldwell Tanks of Louisville, Kentucky, is building a 2.5 million gallon water tower on the southeast side of Beresford that will be 220 feet tall at its peak. This will be the tallest 2.5 million gallon water tower in the nation, according to Caldwell officials. The completion deadline is set for July 2022.

“When these five projects are completed Lewis & Clark will be close to 85% complete. If we continue to receive $18 million per year in federal funding, which is what was appropriated in FY20, the project is estimated to be completed by 2030. We still have a ways to go, but we can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Larson added.

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