Decision to Redo Lakeway Road Coming

The decision to move forward on a multi-million-dollar bid to replace asphalt with concrete on Lakeway Road falls to the Gillette City Council Dec. 15.

In total, the project could cost the city upwards of $7.16 million – the lowest of several bids from construction companies – and will include stripping Lakeway Road down to its bare bones to build it back up with concrete that could last decades, according to Ry Muzzarelli, City Development Services Director.

If the project is approved during the regular city council meeting in two weeks’ time, construction could begin as early as next March, weather permitting, Muzzarelli said Tuesday.

Gillette Mayor Louise Carter-King advised Tuesday that the council will be looking for the money from within the Optional 1 Percent fund without cutting funds from other infrastructure projects and social services.

But some cuts could be unavoidable, according to City Administrator Patrick Davidson.

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“We have the money available. Does it impact One Percent projects in the next year? It could, no doubt about it,” Davidson said.

Those impacts, however, could be minimalized depending on whether the council moves funding over from different projects and dips into One Percent funding set aside to jumpstart projects next fiscal year, he said.

“But there is a chance that we would have to go back and scale back with some of the water line or sewer line replacements next year in order to make sure,” Davidson said, adding that it would be something the council would need to remain cautious of moving forward.

This follows a previous, cheaper decision by the council to feel out a different plan, one that would have meant replacing the top 3 inches of asphalt with more asphalt. That project had been estimated to cost around $3.5 million, Muzzarelli said.

The council abandoned that project for the time being after the lone construction bid came in nearly $1 million over the $4.2 million budgeted for construction this past summer, leaving the funds to be rolled over for next year.

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But asphalt requires maintenance every 10 years or so, Muzzarelli said, which makes concrete a better option looking forward.

“There was an attractive aspect of concrete in the fact that it has a longevity in a way that asphalt, the asphalt repair we were talking about, would not be,” Davidson told the council.

“In seven to ten years, you’re probably going to have to go back and do some fairly major repairs on that road again,” Muzzarelli added. “You’re going to have some failures and some soft spots.”

Concrete, on the other hand, has an estimated lifespan of 30 to 40 years, which would be a great fit for high-traffic roads, Muzzarelli said, noting how some concrete road projects around the city are nearly 10-years-old and “look great.”

If it is approved, the project is expected to be completed by October 2021. While it is underway, Muzzarelli advised that access to Lakeway Road businesses will be provided.