May 19, 2017 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff WriterThe estimated $12.62 million North Federal Boulevard highway improvement project in Riverton isn't expected to fully begin until after the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.
That's important, because thousands of tourists are expected to visit the city for the eclipse. Riverton is rated one of the prime spots in the United States to see the rare occurrence.
Wyoming Department of Transportation resident engineer Robert Scheidemantel told the Riverton City Council last week that new construction requirements state no work can be done Aug. 17-23, two days before and two days after Riverton holds special eclipse events. Some projections call for 10,000 tourists.
The prime contractor will be directed to provide "unrestricted vehicular and pedestrian travel during this period," Scheidemantel said.
Workers will have to maintain two-way traffic at all times during construction, and the contractor may close access to landowners and businesses only with permission of the landowner, business owner and WYDOT.
The project is set to open for bid on July 13.
Once the contractor is selected, Scheidemantel said, the company will wait for its "notice to proceed," which may come in the first week of August.
In addition, the contractor will have to acquire the proper pipes for the project. If the material isn't available on-hand, Scheidemantel said, it will have to be ordered and manufactured.
"So it will be a while," he said. "There will probably be no work done in August."
He anticipates the contractor will begin work middle of September or middle of October. If the right pipes are on-hand, work could start as early as Sept. 1, Scheidemantel said, but he added, "I don't foresee that happening at all."
A pre-contractor meeting will take place after the project bid has been awarded. Then, the contractor will be given time to provide a schedule that shows the timeline for work.
When the contractor is prepared to begin work, the company will begin to stage equipment, most likely along Federal, Scheidemantel said.
"I don't know where they'll stage their equipment," he said. "They may bring in some track hoes, compactors, some trucks. ... We didn't provide the contractor with the staging area."
Limits for the project are East Washington Avenue and the north approach at Burger King near the Riverton city limit.
The project will include removal of existing concrete pavement on North Federal Boulevard, removal and replacement of some concrete curb and sidewalk, removal of existing concrete at street corners, replacement of concrete to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, and replacement of traffic signals at Webbwood Road, Sunset Drive and Pershing Avenue.
The project will involve two phases: The southern phase will span from Washington Avenue to Forest Drive, and the northern phase will span from Forest Drive to the north approach of Burger King on North Federal Boulevard.
As work commences, weekly public progress meetings will be held.
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