GILLETTE, Wyo.— The City of Gillette is seeking $28 million in federal funds to potentially replace the Gurley Overpass and rename it after former U.S. Senator Mike Enzi.
During their regular meeting on April 5, the Gillette City Council approved a resolution designating the Gurley Overpass as a critical community project and requested U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) submit a $28.2 million Community Project Funding (CPF) request to the federal House Appropriations Committee to pay for a replacement or refurbishment.
The CPF program was recently revived by Congress after a decade-long ban; its reinstatement provides members of Congress a way to seek funding for specific community projects through the annual appropriations process used to fund the federal government, according to the multinational law firm Holland & Knight.
“We’re looking forward to this,” City Administrator Hyun Kim said during the meeting. “The community is in critical need of an overpass refurbishment or replacement.”
Recent studies have shown the overpass, which was put into service in 1982, is reaching the end of its lifespan, resulting in increasingly frequent maintenance and shutdowns, per the City of Gillette.
The project would ensure that residents on the north end of Gillette continue to have access to critical care as well as fire and police services, Kim said.
In addition to the resolution, city staff has spoken with the Enzi family about potentially naming it after the former Gillette mayor and U.S. Senator, Kim said, adding that the current placeholder for the name is the “Mike Enzi Memorial Overpass.”
“We feel it is very fitting,” Kim continued. “Mayor Enzi, Senator Enzi was absolutely critical to the original overpass.”
As of April 19, the City of Gillette is uncertain whether Cheney will submit an earmark request to pay for the overpass, according to City Communications Manager Jennifer Toscana, though she said the city is hopeful that some of those federal dollars will make their way to Gillette.
And while there are no hard plans in place to rename the overpass after Enzi, Toscana agreed with Kim that doing so would be fitting given Enzi’s service to Gillette, Wyoming, and the United States.