Sturgis, SD Citizens’ Alliance Asks for Help Building Bikers’ Scenic Byway

1Stturgisroad(From a PR) A group of vision-minded local residents, Sturgis Rally supporters, community leaders and ranchers are responding to the Meade County Commission’s efforts to provide vital access to I-90 by forming an alliance to help fund the construction of a 4.5-mile bikers’ Scenic Byway. Those who will enjoy the many benefits of the road, including avoiding long, hot rally traffic jams each year, now have the opportunity to help build one of the most sought-after scenic access roads in the Black Hills.

2Stturgisroad3StturgisroadWhile the Meade County Commission has budgeted for part of the construction cost, the development is projected to be $1 million short. For this reason, the group is asking residents, suppliers, ranchers, truckers, tourists, rally businesses and motorcycle enthusiasts who would benefit from the new scenic byway to help contribute toward its completion. The roadway, aptly named “Fort Meade Way,” will safely offer visitors and residents alike an unfettered, scenic route between I-90 Exit 37 and Highways 34 and 79, Fort Meade Veterans Hospital, Bear Butte, and the rally campgrounds and concert venues east of Sturgis. The group is asking anyone who can contribute toward the construction of the new access road to do so at Biker Scenic ByWay

While many roads across the nation are funded through toll fees, the group is instead asking for one-time contributions of as little as $10. Those who will use the road daily, such as farmers, ranchers and businesses, may consider contributing more for the convenience the new roadway will afford.

“Completing this road will benefit anyone living or driving in the northwest part of our county,” said Meade County Commission Chair Alan Aker. “Ranchers and residents have been formally petitioning for this road for more than 30 years. The VA hospital is formally on record stating they need the road to fulfill their mission of serving our military heroes. Rural emergency responders are also on record stating the lack of the road could cost a life. No other road we could build would do more for economic development in our county. It’s time to quit talking about it and move some dirt.”

The current route for northbound traffic from I-90 requires access through Sturgis, and adds several miles through town to the trip. The limited access causes significant traffic jams during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. “This is a significant financial commitment, but it’s worth it to the agricultural community to get this road built,” said Bob Wicka, a Meade County rancher with property near the north end of Fort Meade Way. “We made a personal commitment for this road, and now we’re asking for a lot of people to make a contribution to help fund it. This vital access to the main highway only makes sense.”

Construction of the roadway connecting both ends of Fort Meade Way and opening access to I-90 is estimated to begin in late November. The project is expected to be completed in summer 2016, and the road may be usable by July 25. Contribute now at Scenic Byway

17 Responses to “Sturgis, SD Citizens’ Alliance Asks for Help Building Bikers’ Scenic Byway”

  1. 1 Rodent Oct 22nd, 2015 at 8:24 am

    Yeah, the Bikers Scenic Byway with Lawyer Referals and T shirt vendors lining the way!

  2. 2 Bob Athey Oct 22nd, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Good idea and long overdue. Back in 81 through 90 you could see the traffic problems mounting and they haven’t gotten any better. This might actually increase attendance if you could move around better.

  3. 3 Zenaldo Oct 22nd, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    C`mon yourself out here..

  4. 4 P. Hamilton Oct 22nd, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Hey guys, let’s help if you like Sturgis.

  5. 5 Donnie Oct 22nd, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Cyril. Do you know if the city of Sturgis, the Buffalo chip, the Full Throttle, The Broken Spoke campground are participating to the financial effort?

  6. 6 Nyla Oct 23rd, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Donnie – Meade County has budgeted $1.6 million toward the construction of this road, the estimate right now if $2.6 million. Woody has pledged that we will raise the remaining $1 million but only if they will make it usable by July 25, 2016. The City of Sturgis is fighting this road, they would like everyone to have to continue to overheat in a jam on Lazelle and Junction. Fort Meade VA is for this road as are the majority of ranchers to the north who would like better and safer access to I-90. Any emergency vehicles must also route many extra miles through Sturgis. It is a small group of homeowners on the south end who would like to keep their private access road that are fighting this and have enlisted the City of Sturgis. They built on a section line and now want to deny legal access to it. It would be great if the FTS and Broken Spoke stepped up to support this.

  7. 7 Jared Oct 23rd, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Warning: Long winded rant ahead.

    The small vocal group of folks, and their one-sided media friends in Sturgis, who are against the road are not serving the rider community that visits and spends their hard earned money or the local rural community. They selfishly continue to want to keep their public road a dead end. What they are doing is serving themselves by trying to stop the many rural community members and the ride tourists from enjoying the benefits the new road would provide.

    Another one of their arguments has been not to use the tax money that the ride tourists and the rally businesses in that area pay to build the road, because for some reason that’s not appropriate?

    If Garland Dobler and her friends don’t want roads in the growing Sturgis community then one might suggest they buy their next house in a protected wilderness rather than next to a well-known section line that has been on the slate for development and has been requested by community members to be completed for decades and stop making a radical cause out of it.

    Help put an end to this! The rally has needed this road to alleviate the notorious bottleneck for years. We all know this. Anyone who has been to Sturgis knows this.

  8. 8 Bear Oct 23rd, 2015 at 11:11 am

    If this (which I believe it would) is to benefit the city of Sturgis, the VA hospital, and all those living in and around, why hasn’t the city, county, state and fed’s not made this road happen? Especially if it has been petitioned for for thirty years? Telling me that none of the above have no funds to build a 4.5 mile road, even federally funded? Even after all the millions that are raked in every year (for how many years?) because of the rally, that the city,county and state makes, they can’t build a 4.5 mile roadway?
    WOW… shit just baffles me sometimes

  9. 9 Rick Oct 23rd, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Ok, so you guys want to raise money to finish the bypass road. That area crosses several natural water sheds which will require drainage systems and or bridges. Additionally, the on /off ramp to Interstate 90 will need upgrades to accommodate the new traffic flow. Ranchers and truckers will also be using the road to transport cattle, equipment, and various other things that weigh way more than the proposed road would be able to handle. This is just one of the many important things to consider when building any type of infrastructure. The proposed dollar value is simply not enough to do this job the right way. If they want the road they need to raise proper funding, but the main purpose of the road is not to benefit Sturgis, it is to “pad the pocketbooks” of certain individuals that own businesses which would be right along the path of this new “scenic byway”. Businesses located within Sturgis will be harmed due to the diversion of traffic. Therefore, it simply isn’t right to tax the residents of Sturgis in order to fund a road that will harm their economy. It is obvious that this road will be built anyways whether it will be done the right way or not has yet to be seen. But simply due to the fact that this road will “bypass” the businesses in Sturgis, and is being called “The Bikers Scenic Byway” it is my personal opinion that this road should be funded by the pocketbooks of the businesses it will provide access to or by the patrons of those businesses, not the taxpayers of Meade county. The funding for this road has taken away funding from other vital infrastructure such as the road on Dump Hill, which is where all of the trash from the bikers at the Rally goes. If the taxpayers of Sturgis and Meade County are going to be subjected to increased taxes the funds should be used for better things than a “Bikers Scenic Byway”. The schools desperately need funds. The Middle School recently had its roof collapse a few years ago. The library could probably use new equipment too, or maybe the community center could be upgraded.

    My point is that this road should be built with the proper infrastructure and the building of it should not be a burden to the taxpayers. The businesses which reciever income from this project should provide a large portion of the required funding. The taxpayers money could be better used pursuing other public works programs.

  10. 10 Chris Oct 23rd, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Take away the Sturgis rally and the hundreds of thousands of attendees who get gouged annually by the local businesses, take away the tax dollars that are generated, then tell me what kind of shape the library and middle school would be in.

  11. 11 Daymon Oct 23rd, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Hey Rick,

    1. Road engineering has been done and an estimate is in. Your claim that it wouldn’t be done right is a reach

    2. The road was requested by community members a years before any of the businesses on that side of town ever even existed. Those folks are tax paying community members

    3. Community members’ taxes should go toward paying for a road that services their community

    4. In case you didn’t read the article, private business is working to help pay for it in conjunction with those individuals who will use it and are willing to contribute to help pay for it. Those private businesses also pay taxes, probably far more than you ever will, so in essence they are paying twice

    5. Meade County is not increasing taxes due to this road. Nice try

    6. The dump road serves the City of Sturgis and the City didn’t want to help pay for it so it is now gravel and still continues to serve the county and the city. There goes that argument

    7. Increasing infrastructure builds economic opportunity, does not take away from it

    8. Denying the request from the people who the road will service so that a few can keep their public road a dead end serves no one except the few people living on that dead end. Selfish is the only way to explain that

    9. There is only a 2 mile section line between the two dead end roads that will complete the road and both landowners have given easement to cross their property

    10. You don’t appear to have a legitimate argument

  12. 12 1550tc Oct 23rd, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Now that Trump isnt building the wall……..whats 1.6 mil for this road ??

  13. 13 Blackmax Oct 23rd, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Don’t bikers help with the finances, with every beer, drink
    camping fee and every other “cost” that those places charge
    to every person, every year ????

  14. 14 Woody's Oct 24th, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    How messed up has this country’s vision been that folks would believe that building a road for the common good shouldn’t be done with public monies, but paying for their food and rent should be? Roads and bridges are one of the few things that arguably DO need to be done with public funds, while much of the wealth distribution/forced charity that is taken from paychecks is what should be offending folks.

  15. 15 Chris Oct 27th, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    How messed up is this country’s vision that we’d demonize starving children, the mentally ill, and the elderly? Study after study shows that more than 90% of social benefits go to the elderly, seriously disabled, or members of working households whose employers don’t see fit to pay a living wage.

    Turn off Fox News and do some real research about social welfare programs. Do some more research on corporate welfare then think critically about the facts.

    Build the road, leave hungry grandmas and children out of it.

  16. 16 Patrick Sereno Oct 27th, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Vote Hillary.

  17. 17 curiousgeorge Oct 27th, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    So in 5 yrs will they call it The Chip Party till Ya Drop instead of The Sturgis Rally

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Cyril Huze