As part of a plan to update and revitalize South Dakota’s interstate rest areas the South Dakota Department of Transportation and Department of Tourism what to know what the public thinks.

South Dakota's 21 interstate rest areas range in age from the newest one at Chamberlain built in 1999, to the oldest ones at Valley Springs and Tilford, both built in the early 1970s.

A task force visited each of the state’s rest areas this year to study the condition, functionality and accessibility of the facilities. The task force proposed a three to five year improvement plan (Read it here).

The recommendations include immediate repairs, cleaning and updating. Also, the plan calls for remaking the rest areas near Valley Springs, Homestead and Wilmont into welcome centers.

“The rest areas at our borders are likely to be the first impression a traveler has of South Dakota,” says Jim Hagen, secretary of Tourism. “I appreciate the time and effort the task force spent visiting each rest area to come up with a plan to better serve our citizens and visitors at these locations.”

Other elements of the plan include remodeling or upgrading the rest areas at Wasta, Belvidere, Presho, White Lake and Salem on I-90 and Ward Road and Glacial Lakes on I-29. Upgrades will address ADA accessibility needs as well as updating security camera systems.

The task force proposed closing the rest areas at Tilford on I-90 near Sturgis and at Hidewood on I-29 near Watertown, but leaving the parking areas functional.

“Providing a safe and efficient infrastructure is one of our top priorities and the state’s rest areas are an integral part of that,” says Darin Bergquist, secretary of Transportation. “Safety rest areas were designed with parking to offer a motorist a place to rest, use the restroom, stretch and rejuvenate.”

If you want to let the state know what you think about the proposed plan, email comments to

Comments can also be mailed to:

Darin Bergquist, Secretary
South Dakota Department of Transportation
700 East Broadway Ave.
Pierre, SD  57501-2586

Source: South Dakota Department of Transportation

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