Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to Attract 700K But Watch Out For These Speed Limit Reductions
Sturgis, SD – It’s the time of year when South Dakota officials change speed limits due to increased traffic volumes associated with the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Sturgis 2021 kicked off Friday and will run through Sunday, August 15.
In preparation, the South Dakota Highway Patrol (SDHP) issued a reminder to motorists that the posted Interstate 90 speed limit will be reduced to 65 MPH (from 75 MPH) on Thursday, running through the end of the event.
The speed reduction on I-90 will begin west of Exit 55 (Deadwood Avenue) in Rapid City to west of Exit 30 (Lazelle Street) in Sturgis.
The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) also announced two additional speed limit reduction locations:
• SD Highway 34 speed limit will be reduced from 45 MPH and 65 MPH to 35 MPH from Blanche Street in Sturgis east 3.8 miles (east of Buffalo Chip).
• SD Highway 79 speed limit will be reduced from 65 MPH to 45 MPH from the junction of SD Highway 34 north 1.75 miles (north of Iron Horse Campground) and from 0.05 mile south of the intersection with Bighorn Road north 0.8 mile (near Full Throttle Saloon and Drag Pipe Saloon approaches).
The speed limit reductions in the above locations will also be in effect through Sunday, August 15.
Officials with SDDOT said message boards and speed trailers at various locations along I-90 will display alerts regarding traffic conditions, crashes causing delays and extreme weather events during Sturgis.
In addition, temporary traffic lights will be stationed at the following locations:
• I-90 Exit 32 WB ramp
• I-90 Exit 32 EB ramp
• I-90 Exit 55 EB ramp
• SD Highway 34/79 and Ft. Meade main entrance
• SD Highway 34 and S.D. Highway 79 east of Sturgis
• SD Highway 34 and Ft. Meade Way
• SD Highway 44 and U.S. Highway 385
• US Highway 16 and U.S. Highway 385 east of Hill City
• SD Highway 34/79 and 11th Street in Sturgis
• SD Highway 34/79 and Glencoe Drive
• SD Highway 34/79 and Nellie Avenue
The traffic lights will remain in place until Monday, August 16.
Motorists are asked to be alert to the changes in speed limits in and around the Sturgis area during the festivities.
More than 700,000 people are expected to attend the 81st annual event, which is up significantly from last year’s attendance of approximately 500,000.
One such attendee will be none other than South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.
Gov. Noem has been a long-time supporter of the event, and Tweeted about this year’s festivities on Wednesday.
The Sturgis rally is about hopping on your bike and exploring this great country through our open roads. Bikers come here because they WANT to be here. And we love to see them! There’s a risk associated with everything that we do in life. Bikers get that better than anyone.
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) August 4, 2021
According to South Dakota’s Department of Tourism, the rally is expected to generate $800 million in revenue.