SDDOT Update on Current Closures and Statewide Travel Conditions (Dec. 15, 2022
For Immediate Release: Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022 (Update #2)
Contact: Craig Smith, Director of Operations, 605-773-5155
PIERRE, S.D. – Due to the continued impact of the strong winter storm system moving through the state, closures on Interstate 90 and Interstate 29 remain in place on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. The Interstate closures are expected to remain overnight and until wind and snow subside to a point drifted snow can be cleared and the highway section maintained.
No Travel Advisories continue to impact nearly all state highways across South Dakota, with several highways in the central and northeastern portions of the state physically impassable, especially from blockages of large snow drifts and bridges completely plugged.
I-90 Closure Updates:
- As of 10 a.m. (MT) / 11 a.m. (CT) on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, I-90 is closed (both eastbound and westbound) from the Wyoming state line to Rapid City. The additional closure means I-90 is closed from the Wyoming state line to Mitchell.
- The section of I-90 from Rapid City to Mitchell remains closed due to continued drifting with sustained high winds.
- I-90 within the Rapid City metro area (exit 55 to exit 67) will be open for local travel.
I-29 Closure Update:
- As of 7 p.m. (CT) on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, I-29 is closed (both northbound and southbound) from the city of Watertown to the North Dakota border. The combination of newly developing snow and sustained winds has made I-29 impassable.
Limited Truck Parking:
- SDDOT and Department of Public Safety (DPS) note that limited long-term parking is available along the Interstates due to closures; as well as along the state highways where roadways are impassable.
Impassable State Highways:
Accumulating snow and strong winds will continue to make secondary highways impassable over an extended period of time with many state highways posting No Travel Advised.
Several highways are currently listed as “Road Impassable” on SD511 such as portions of S.D. Highways 34, 44, 45, 47, 49, 53, 63, 240, 1806 and U.S. Highways 14, 18, and 83.When a road is listed as “Road Impassable”, travel on the road segment is physically impossible typically due to widespread deep snow and drifts. Clearing these roads is not expected to be possible today as winds and additional snow are preventing ability to safely and effectively plow or blow the drifted snow.
Many vehicles have become stuck and stranded in an attempt to travel on state highways to avoid Interstate closures. These stranded vehicles create hazards for snowplow operators and may delay getting the sections of highway cleared. Please avoid travel. Penalties for non-compliance of Interstate Closures: Any person who fails to observe any sign, marker, warning, notice or direction, or barrier placed or given under § 31-4-14.2 is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. Any unauthorized presence on a closed highway is evidence of a violation of this section. DPS officials note that failure to comply with an Interstate closure may result in a $232 fine, a civil penalty of up to $1,000, and the actual cost of any such rescue, not to exceed $10,000.
Road Conditions Across the State:
At this point, as this complex storm system continues to cause snow and sustained high wind, the SDDOT asks that motorists please avoid travel.
Safety on the roadways, for plow operators and the traveling public, is the number one priority for both DOT and DPS. Please use available resources for travel planning over the next few days. For the latest on road and weather conditions, please visit https://sd511.org or dial 511.
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