Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

WYDOT shares five-year plan


August 15, 2019

Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) unveiled its construction projects for the next half-decade in a presentation for the county commissioners last week, outlining over $44 million in planned spending within Crook County.

Jim Evensen, District Construction Engineer, announced that this year’s project to rehabilitate the D Road for an estimated cost of $2.3 million is “just about done”, while there are “just a few ore things to do” at the entrance to Devils Tower.

Projects for 2019 also include mill and overlay on I-90 east of Moorcroft at an estimated cost of $6.4 million. Construction has begun on the westbound lane, Evensen said, and paving will begin after the motorcycle rally.

The Arch Creek bridge on county road 179 is complete and has “turned out well”, he continued, at a cost of approximately $600,000.

In 2020, the Belle Fourche Bridge on county road 51 near Hulett will be replaced at an estimated cost of $850,000. The two projects scheduled for 2021 are mill and overlay of U.S. 14 at the junction with WYO 24, for an approximate cost of $2.7 million, and mill and overlay of the Wind Creek section of I-90 near Moorcroft, westbound, for an expected $3.8 million.

The eastbound lanes of I-90 at the Wind Creek section will see mill and overlay work in 2022, again at a projected cost of $3.8 million.

“Most of [these projects] are mill and overlay because we are in preservation mode,” Evensen explained. “It does extend the life of the road.”

In 2024, the two planned projects include widening and resurfacing of WYO 116 at Cundy Creek, at a cost of $2.3 million, and mill and overlay for I-90 eastbound at Inyan Kara for $11.3 million. In 2025, WYDOT plans to mill and overlay U.S. 14, Moorcroft north to Pine Haven, for a projected cost of $9.3 million.

Meanwhile, five more WYOLink towers will be placed within the northeast district in the near future, “filling the holes in our emergency communications”, including one in Alva. Should cell phones and other forms of communication go down, Evensen explained, the emergency services can still use WYOLink to talk to one another; each new tower costs around $1 million.

Commissioner Jeanne Whalen asked WYDOT representatives to consider two projects for the future. The first would be overhead lighting at an intersection just outside Pine Haven, which District Traffic Engineer Michelle Edwards confirmed is to be added to the list of electrical upgrades and could be done as soon as 2021.

The second project would be rehabilitation of I-90 between Sundance and the South Dakota state line. Evensen explained that this is on WYDOT’s “wish list” already should money for it come available.

Watching the same presentation later in the day, Mayor Paul Brooks asked it to be placed on the record that he does not support the push for cities to pay a share towards WYOLink, which Sundance does not use; paying for it, he said, would remove needed money from the city’s budget for citizen protection.

He also commended WYDOT for its focus on aviation, which he said is important for the state’s economic diversification, and mentioned that Sundance would like to see additional lighting on the highway by the football field for safety during night games.

District Engineer Scott Taylor also shared that WYDOT’s planned projects can now be viewed individually through a project map on the department’s website.

“It’s an interactive map,” he said. “This is how we get public comment, also.”


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