W. 5th St. project moves ahead

SHERIDAN – The Board of Sheridan County Commissioners voted Monday to unanimously approve a set of three agreements with the city of Sheridan and the Wyoming Department of Transportation that set the stage for a major reconstruction effort along West Fifth Street.

Currently a county road west of Kentucky Avenue, West Fifth Street will come under the city’s jurisdiction once construction is complete.

Set to be funded in large part by the county’s reserve of Federal Highway Administration Urban Systems Funds, the project will allow for a complete overhaul of the heavily traveled corridor between Mydland Road and Soldier Creek Road.

Sheridan County Public Works Director Rod Liesinger said improvements could include sidewalk repair, drainage repair and the installation of a bike path among other renovations.

Construction costs are expected to reach about $2.5 million with additional administrative costs bumping the project’s total to $3.3 million. About 90 percent of the total cost, will be funded by the county’s stockpile of annually granted Urban Systems Funds.

The city and county will split the remaining expenses.

The first two agreements deal with logistics for the proposed project, while the third act authorizes WYDOT to draft an engineering report for a separate project that will outline areas of concern on West Fifth Street north to Yellow Tail Avenue. That process is expected to take about six months.

Now approved, all three agreements will go before the Sheridan City Council for consideration.

Also on Monday, the board voted unanimously to authorize the submission of a grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. If awarded, funds would be used to complete a bank stabilization project along Tongue Canyon Road between Dayton and the Tongue River Canyon.

Originally a project of the Sheridan County Conservation District, a recent decision by FEMA that the group was ineligible to apply for the funds led district officials to request that the county commissioners take over the application process.

Now approved by the board, the county becomes a third party in the project alongside the conservation district and a pair of private landowners.

If granted by FEMA, grant funds would go toward stabilizing the riverbank along County Road 92 to help stem the process of erosion that currently threatens the road.

“Not only do people live back there, but a lot of people use that road to access recreation areas,” Conservation District Manager Carrie Rogaczewski told The Sheridan Press. “If that road were to be damaged it could create an inconvenience for a lot of folks.”

Estimated to cost around $100,000, FEMA would cover roughly 75 percent of the project’s total expenses.

The county would be expected to contribute $9,500 in matching funds. The private landowners would also be expected to contribute.

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