Even as the Wyoming legislature battles it out on the controversial fuel tax increase, the Wyoming Transportation Commission approved $22.6 million for 12 highway projects around the state.
The proposed 10-cent fuel tax increase passed the House last month by a vote of 35-24, and it has been endorsed by a 4-1 vote in the Senate Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Committee for approval by the Senate. WYDOT has long said roads face a major shortfall in funding, and the tax increase would help cover the shortfall.
"We've been saying all along, it might not be evident to you as you drive down the highway at 65 or 75 that the condition is deteriorating," WYDOT spokesman Dave Kingham recently told the Business Report
Gov. Matt Mead has also championed the fuel increase, saying out-of-state drivers will pay more for the privilege of using Wyoming roads.
As for WYDOT, it certainly isn't without funds. Riverside Contracting of Missoula, Mont., won a $9.56 million bid to mill off deteriorating pavement and replace it with a new layer of pavement on 11 miles of I-25 near Kaycee. The work also will include upgrading the guardrail. The contract completion date is June 30, 2014.
Casper Electric earned a $5.4 million bid for installation of 19 overhead electronic message signs on I-90 and I-25. The signs will be installed in the Sundance, Gillette, Buffalo, Sheridan and Orin Junction areas and the work is expected to be done by Sept. 30, 2014.
Worland's McGarvin-Moberly Construction won a $2.1 million contract for a pavement overlay on 10 miles of Wyo. 387 immediately east of Pine Tree Junction. The contract completion date is Sept. 30.
K's Construction of Otto won $1.4 million to upgrade guardrails, improve shoulders and make other safety improvements on highways in Big Horn, Campbell, Crook, Fremont, Park and Sheridan counties by Nov. 30.
Streamline Markings of Billings, Mont., submitted the low bid of nearly $1.2 million for installing epoxy pavement striping on heavily traveled highway sections in Albany, Carbon, Johnson, Laramie, Natrona, Sheridan, Sweetwater, Teton, Uinta and Weston counties. The contract completion date is Sept. 30.
Other contracts awarded throughout the state include:
- $843,000 to A-Core Concrete Cutting of Boise, Idaho, to repair damaged concrete slabs on I-80 in the Three Sisters area near Evanston and on US 189 near Kemmerer, and repair the scales at the Evanston Port of Entry. The contract completion date is Sept. 30.
- $696,000 to Cheyenne's Knife River for placing a layer of high-performance pavement to improve friction on I-80 west of Laramie where the highway turns to the north. Heavy truck traffic has polished the concrete on that curve, creating traction problems when the highway is wet. The high-friction pavement is already in use on the Telephone Canyon section of I-80 east of Laramie. The work is scheduled to be done by Sept. 15.
- $406,000 to Welford Industries of Cheyenne to upgrade guardrails on nearly five miles of Wyo. 230 in the Woods Creek Canyon area. The contract completion date is Sept. 30.
- $396,000 to Simon Contractors and Subsidiaries of Cheyenne to lengthen the acceleration lanes for the I-80 entrance ramps at the Grand Avenue Interchange in Laramie by Sept. 30.
- $264,000 to 71 Construction of Casper for landscaping and concrete entry signs on US 20-26-87 and Wyo. 95 in Glenrock by July 31.
- $180,000 to Platte Valley Construction of Grand Island, Neb., for installing heavy-duty cattle guards on Wyo. 211 (Horse Creek Road) northwest of Cheyenne by Aug. 31 to replace guards damaged by heavy trucks.
- $150,000 to Wishbone Fencing of Aladdin for replacing right-of-way fence along 2.4 miles of I-90 in the Sundance area by Sept. 30.
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