County engineer: WYDOT likely to select a bid for Rockpile crosswalk by September

The sign for the Rockpile Museum on U.S. 14 -16. (Ryan Lewallen/County 17)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — The plan for a crosswalk on Second Street near Campbell County Rockpile Museum is moving along.

Campbell County Public Works Senior Engineer Clark Melinkovich said Aug. 9 Wyoming Department of Transportation will select one of two bids Campbell County received for the project. He said he sent the state the bids Monday, and he anticipates the state will respond to the bids within a few weeks. Powder River Construction bid $80,190.80, and S & S Builders bid $97,979, Melinkovich said.

The state has to consider the bids based on more than just the quoted cost, Melinkovich said.

Campbell County is receiving assistance through a WYDOT Transportation Alternatives Programs Grant. WYDOT Contracts and Estimates office administers the bidding of the project while the department’s Local Government Coordination Office administers the contract, WYDOT District 4 District Engineer Scott Taylor said. The state will consider federal requirements while picking a bid, Taylor said.

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The contractor would have through May 2023 to complete the project within a 30-day window. The county is providing flexibility so the selected contractor could decide what 30-day period would be most feasible for its completion of the project, considering schedules of its other projects’ schedules, Melinkovich said. He said that while there would be lane closures for up to 30 days, the road would remain open for vehicle traffic both ways.

“I think people won’t have any problems with it at all,” he said.

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Campbell County Commissioners in November 2021 unanimously approved an agreement with HDR Engineering Inc. of Gillette for a pedestrian activated crosswalk system that had been in the works for more than two years. At the time, the timeline was to formalize a design in the winter and begin construction in spring 2022. Under the agreement, design and contract administration services for the project were to cost no more than $42,221.66. Melinkovich said HDR Engineering’s work has been less than that amount and that part of the costs was for design and part was for inspection during construction.

“It took us a little longer than expected to get the grant agreement approved since that had to go through WYDOT and the review times had to be added in,” Melinkovich said. “Then even though the design was for a small project, it takes almost as long as for a larger project. We worked with a couple different suppliers of crosswalk equipment and coordinated with the City of Gillette to make sure we had the right ones. The process hasn’t been fast but it has been efficient and everyone we’ve worked with has been helpful.”

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The pedestrian-focused crossing would be similar to that at the Campbell County Public Library and Campbell County Health, Melinkovich said. There would be blinking lights and a pedestrian refuge island.

Rockpile Museum Director Robert Henning said Aug. 9 that the project is a matter of safety.

The museum has 20 marked parking spots, and two of those are handicapped spots, he said. And while the museum can also squeeze a few more vehicles in the unmarked areas, it doesn’t take many guests to fill up the lot, he said. Guests who visit the museum and can’t find a parking spot tend to park across the street.

“Getting them safely across the highway is our top priority,” he said. “This crosswalk and flashing lights will help greatly in that effort.”