Better Roads

November 2014

Better Roads Digital Magazine

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Page 28 of 43

Better Roads November 2014 27 Applications & Innovations A mericans love to explore the countryside in their cars, and many regions have obliged by designat- ing special scenic travel routes. But few roads have been as deliberately designed to appeal to the sensibilities of travelers as Iron Mountain Road in South Dakota. Iron Mountain Road is the north-south leg of the his- toric route 16A, which departs from Route 16 to access the Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Custer State Park. Tunnels cut into rock outcroppings were situated to frame views of the faces carved into Mount Rushmore and are an integral part of the tourist experience when visiting the me- morial. The road is known for its single narrow lanes as well as its spiral or "pigtail" bridges, engineered in 1932 by the superintendent of Custer State Park to traverse the steep el- evation gain of the mountainous area. The steel structures of the bridges are covered by heavy timber facings, in keeping with the rustic character of the roadway. Maintaining the historic road using modern equipment and techniques – without altering its character – was a chal- lenge confronted by repair crews who undertook its resur- facing in early 2014. The $4,334,109 project called for mill- ing and resurfacing 17 miles of roadway, along with bridge repair. Complicating matters was the fact that the region's economy depends heavily upon summer tourism. While the Maintaining America's Foremost Tourist Routes

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