The South Dakota Department of Transportation won the award in the Best Use of Innovation category for a medium sized project.
The $28 million project began in May, 2011, at the Mitchell end of the Dakota Southern Railway and was completed in November 2012. Crews worked their way west replacing 61.6 miles of rail and 96,000 crossties. They also added 63,000 tons of ballast, lined and surfaced the track and replaced crossings.
"This project is important to the rail industry and the economic development in our rural areas," said South Dakota Department of Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist. "Rehabilitation of this line has spurred construction of a grain elevator near Kimball, created jobs and will allow producers to ship goods at a lower cost, thus putting more money in the pockets of farmers, ranchers and businesses."
This project was a cooperative effort between the South Dakota Department of Transportation, the MRC Regional Rail Authority, the South Dakota Railroad Board and Dakota Southern Railway.