Absaroka Street project slightly ahead of schedule

Posted 7/2/19

Work on Absaroka Street has created some inconvenience to residents, but the headaches were expected. The good news is the project is on track to finish on time.

“I’d say we’re a …

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Absaroka Street project slightly ahead of schedule

Posted

Work on Absaroka Street has created some inconvenience to residents, but the headaches were expected. The good news is the project is on track to finish on time.

“I’d say we’re a little ahead of schedule right now,” said City of Powell Streets Superintendent Gary Butts.

He explained more will be known about where they are on the timeline next week, but if all goes as expected, they’ll begin the paveout in September, and the project will be entirely complete by October. Of course, in any large project like this, there are a lot of unknowns, so today’s estimate could change.

The project is widening Absaroka between Third and Seventh streets. It will also replace aging water and stormdrain lines under the route, which is requiring some work down to First Street. Additionally, crews will be installing some decorative lighting along the thoroughfare.

As the Absaroka project proceeds on track, Montana-Dakota Utilities is doing a parallel project in the alleyways east and west of Absaroka. The company is replacing natural gas mains throughout many towns in the states it serves, including Powell.

That work has resulted in some alternative routes around Absaroka being closed off. Butts said the city was not aware of MDU’s plans.

It’s a “little inconvenient,” he said.

Mike Hanson, a spokesperson for MDU, said company representatives meet with city representatives weekly to ensure the work is as efficient as possible.

“We are on roughly the same time frame as the city in regard to finishing the project, which is late October/early November time frame,” Hanson said.

Park County voters approved the Absaroka Street upgrades during the 2016 general election, when they passed an additional 1 cent sales tax. Some 53 percent of voters supported the $13.68 million specific purpose sales tax, which came to an end in April. The City of Powell was set to receive $4.25 million for Absaroka Street, but has received an extra $315,000 so far, with some tax dollars still trickling in. All of those additional dollars must be used on the Absaroka project..

Other projects around the county funded by the tax include sewer upgrades in Meeteetse, a new bridge on the Lower South Fork, upgrades on the South Fork Road and upgrades to Cody’s sewer lagoons and street improvements.

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