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City enters aid agreement with FHWA to help build Mike Enzi Memorial Overpass

Road closure signs at the Gurley Overpass in 2018 during a maintenance and repair project. (County 17)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — The City of Gillette has secured federal funding to cover part of the costs of building the Mike Enzi Memorial Overpass. 

During its meeting on May 21, the Gillette City Council approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Shay Lundvall to sign a Federal-Aid Project Agreement with the Federal Highway Administration, enabling the city to secure up to $3 million to help replace the Gurley Overpass. 

Per the agreement, federal funding will be used for information gathering, preliminary engineering, environmental studies, preliminary drawings and cost estimation relating to the overpass project.  

In total, replacing the existing overpass with the Mike Enzi Memorial Overpass will cost upwards of $40 million; the funding secured through the FHWA was appropriated in 2022 and is part of the $10 million raised by the city for the project, according to City Administrator Mike Cole. The remaining $7 million could be appropriated through the city’s ongoing budget process.

For the rest of the funding, the city is relying on the potential excise tax that is currently approved to go before Campbell County voters this General Election as a ballot initiative, per Cole. 

“We’ve got a big vote ahead of us in November,” Cole said. “We’ll see how it pans out.”

The Gurley Overpass has been in service since 1982 and is the only bridge motorists can use to cross over the BNSF railroad in city limits. In recent years, however, the bridge has closed several times for annual maintenance and resurfacing projects. 

Since the city acknowledged the overpass needed replacing, it has sought to fund the project through various means — including a 2022 resolution that sought $30 million in federal funding to pay for reconstruction. 

Last month, the city passed a joint resolution with the Town of Wright and Campbell County authorizing the ballot initiative. Through the resolution, the county will look to raise over $200 million for a new indoor arena whereas Wright is seeking funding for critical infrastructure projects in preparation for new housing development.

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