RAPID CITY, SD — June 22, 2022 — To improve system safety and reliability, and prepare for future growth of the downtown corridor, Black Hills Energy will replace its overhead electric distribution lines in Rapid City’s famed Art Alley with underground infrastructure, the company announced today. The segment is part of a utility construction project that will transform five blocks of overhead utility lines. Work begins this week and is expected to last approximately six weeks.
“By removing aging infrastructure, we will strengthen the resiliency of the downtown power grid and improve the overall aesthetic of one of Rapid City’s most unique and beloved displays of public art,” said Bo Secrest, Black Hills Energy’s Rapid City operations manager. “As we transform and modernize our infrastructure, Art Alley will also be transformed with expanded access to exposed brick walls and an open sky view.”
When completed, Art Alley’s distribution power lines and telecommunication lines will be buried underground. Wall-mounted service lines to meters located in the alley will remain above ground.
“Throughout the planning and implementation of this project, we will continue working closely with our customers and neighbors to minimize the impact on businesses, traffic flow and Downtown Summer Nights activities,” Secrest stated.
Construction will take place primarily during business hours, from Monday through Friday. However, some after-hours outages will be required and are coordinated with customers in advance. To support public safety and accommodate heavy equipment needed for construction, Black Hills Energy will block the west half of Art Alley, between 7th street and 6th street, for the duration of the project.