2024 Governor's Conference on Economic Development
South Dakota is at the heart of the United States in the most literal sense. Home to the geographical center of the country, South Dakota companies have swift access to all major U.S. regions thanks to a robust network of highways and railroads. Apart from being just a short distance from several major metros, seven commercial airports make it easy to stay globally connected while remaining locally invested. And with 77,116 square miles to our name, a reliable system of telecommunications support ensures that companies are never without connectivity no matter where they operate.
Hit the road in South Dakota and you’ve got your pick of destinations. With two major interstates, there’s no place you can’t go from the geographical core of the United States. I-90 runs east and west, while I-29 flanks the eastern part of the state from the north to the south. Three high-priority corridors play a role in our extensive network of roads which helps keep consumers connected to South Dakota goods and products:
On highway spending, South Dakota ranks sixth in total spending and fourth in capital and bridge cost per mile.
Rail holds a prominent place in South Dakota’s history and economic development with the completion of the Southern Dakota Railroad in 1872. Today, shipping goods to and from South Dakota is possible thanks to nine freight railroads operating nearly 2,000 miles of track. Our rail network consists of Class I, Regional, Local and Switching lines with BNSF playing the most prominent role in South Dakota freight.
Sioux Falls Regional Airport and Rapid City Regional Airport account for South Dakota’s largest airports in terms of passenger traffic. Rapid City Regional Airport offers direct flights to 8 US cities including Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago and Minneapolis year round, and an additional 5 direct flights to Newark, Charlotte, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco on a seasonal schedule. Sioux Falls Regional Airport has direct flights to 15 destinations with direct service to major U.S. airport hubs such as Atlanta, Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Minneapolis and Orlando.
The cities of Aberdeen, Huron, Pierre, Brookings, Watertown also operate commercial air service and charters, which means that you’re always just a short flight away from some of the largest airports in the country.
South Dakota has a vast network of telecomm providers that ensure that our residents and companies are globally connected 24/7 with reliable service, regardless of their location. In the past decade, the state prioritized bringing high-speed broadband capability to South Dakota state-wide, including rural areas, and today we boast more than 28,000 miles of fiber optic cable.
Companies operating in South Dakota have their choice of telecommunications providers with connections to more than 30 regional and national fiber networks, rounding out a next-level state fiber optic infrastructure.