South Dakota State News

For Immediate Release:
Friday, May 6, 2022


Contact:

Julie Stevenson, Strategic Communications Coordinator, 605-773-2898

PIERRE, SD – Construction season is officially underway and to help raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in work zones, the Associated General Contractors of South Dakota (AGC) and the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) recently announced the winners for the annual work zone awareness billboard campaign. Students from across the state had the opportunity to create billboards with work zone safety messages.

“Our partnership with the AGC and area contractors in this campaign focuses on the dangers of speeding and driving distracted in work zones,” said Joel Jundt, Secretary of Transportation. “We are excited to engage youth and their families through a fun, yet meaningful, contest to emphasize that everyone plays a role when it comes to safety on our roads.”

The national award-winning billboard campaign, which is coordinated by AGC, gives 4th grade students the opportunity to create art designs to compete for a coveted billboard spot. “What we look for is a work zone awareness message that is relatable for both students and their parents,” said Lindsay Willits, Deputy Executive Vice President for AGC. “The goal of the billboard contest is to remind motorists that safer driving habits mean safer work zones for everyone.”

Students with a winning entry, along with the classroom teacher, earn a cash prize. At local press events scheduled in May, the winning entries will be revealed during student assemblies. The artwork of each of the winners will then be displayed on local community billboards. The 2022 winners and their teachers are noted below by city and elementary School. The contractor who sponsored each billboard is also listed, along with the featured billboard location, and live date.

Bridgewater/Emery (Bridgewater/Emery Elementary)
Press Event – ​​Monday, May 9th at 1 pm CT
Teacher: Mary Ernster and Student: Kenze Glover
Billboard location: I-90 near mile marker 373 – west facing. Live date: May 9
SFC Civil Constructors is the billboard sponsor.

Mitchell (Mitchel Christian School)
Press Event – ​​Friday, May 13th at 8:15 am CT
Teacher: Donna DeLine and Student: Brady Mentele
Billboard location: I-90 near mile marker 346 – east facing. Live date: May 30
BX-CC is the billboard sponsor.

Pierre (Kennedy Elementary)
Press Event – ​​Friday, May 13th at 2:30 pm CT
Teacher: Kristi Zarecky and Student: Tripp Barringer
Billboard location: Highway 83 coming into Fort Pierre – north facing. Live date: June 6
Jensen Construction and Morris Inc. are the billboard sponsors.

Sioux Falls (St. Lambert Elementary)
Press Event – ​​Thursday, May 19th at 10:20 am CT
Teacher: Tammy Lauer and Students: Charlotte Cooper and Kalley Van Meveren
Billboard locations: Charlotte: I-29 near mile marker 109 – south facing. Live date: May 16 and Kalley: I-90 near mile marker 373 – east facing. Live date: May 9
SFC Civil Constructors is the billboard sponsor.

Rapid City (St. Elizabeth Seton School)
Press Event –Monday, May 23rd at 2:30 pm MT
Teacher: Delaine Lutz and Student: Khloe Willits
Billboard location: Sturgis Road. Live date: May 16
Simon Contractors is the billboard sponsor.

Secretary Jundt reiterates the importance of safe driving habits for everyone making summer travel plans. “The top priority for the SDDOT is to keep you and your family safe on our state roads,” said Jundt. “Please make safety your priority; remember to slow down, put down distractions, wear your seatbelt, and always focus on the road ahead.”

Find additional 2022 billboard contest information and billboard photos at https://dot.sd.gov/inside-sddot/of-interest/work-zone-awareness-week.

About SDDOT:
The mission of the South Dakota Department of Transportation is to efficiently provide a safe and effective public transportation system.

For the latest on road and weather conditions, road closures, construction work zones, commercial vehicle restrictions, and traffic incidents, please visit https://sd511.org or dial 511.

Read more about the innovative work of the SDDOT at https://dot.sd.gov.

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