Penny Power: Lakeway Road project could be finished next month

Traffic has been at a crawl on Lakeway road since April but things are soon going to change with the completion of the roadwork. (RJ Morgan/County 17)

Don’t let the half mile or so stretch of roadway that remains blanketed with orange cones fool you. The multi-million-dollar overhaul of Lakeway Road that has been a nuisance for commuting around the area is on pace to be completed as promised.

When asked about the progress of the project, Gillette Communications Manger Geno Palazzari kept it simple and straight forward.

“It is scheduled to be completed in late October/early November as was originally planned,” he said Wednesday afternoon.

The Lakeway Road work has been extensive. It’s been a total reconstruction of the road and sewer main replacement every inch of the way from Highway 59/Douglas Highway to 4-J Road.

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The Lakeway Road project has been progressed through phases and the final stretch of work is here.

The price tag of the project is $7.16 million. It was funded from money obtained through the Optional One Percent sales tax, known locally as Penny Power. The City of Gillette uses its share of the 1% percent sales tax for the capital construction of roads, water and sewer lines, as well as infrastructure such as drainage improvements, fishing lake improvements, wastewater treatment facility, parks and pathways, to name a few.

Local company DRM Inc. was awarded the Lakeway contract and has met all goals in the reconstruction task which started seven months ago. There has been no road closures but plenty of traffic delays as would be expected of a project this size.

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It’s been a detailed job in a short amount of time as the roadway was stripped to its core. The sewer main line underneath was replaced and then the existing asphalt was replaced with concrete because its lengthy lifespan.

Most of the work is now at the end of the project nearing the Lakeway Road/Douglas Highway intersection where concrete was poured most of Wednesday.

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The entire project has been divided into seven phases and road crews are now in the final phase. The first phase back in the spring was dedicated to sanitary sewer and water improvements.

DRM Inc. last week reworked subgrade between Powder Basin Avenue to Jasper Street, continued placing miscellaneous concrete between Ash Street and Fern Street and placed the concrete pavement patch at the Ash Street intersection.

Weather permitting, phase seven continues this week and next with paving the south lanes from the Eyecare Associates building to Jasper Street. Also, crews will place additional concrete from Elder Street to Jasper Street and install replacement fire hydrant near the Gillette Auto Group building.

The final weeks of the Lakeway Road project are here as concrete was poured today near the Douglas Highway intersection. (RJ Morgan/County 17)