The total impact that the North Main Interstate 90 interchange project will have on Sheridan likely can’t be measured in a truly accurate way. We can estimate, but the bottom line is it will be big. The project itself will cost approximately $58.7 million. More than a dozen subcontractors will be contributing to the project’s success. That means dozens of construction crew members, surveyors and more. It means keeping people employed.
It also means a boost, we hope, to local business. While working on the project, crews will buy supplies, materials, meals and more in Sheridan’s stores and restaurants.
Motels and restaurants in the North Main area are likely to see a boost from all the contractors in town for the project, WYDOT spokeswoman Ronda Holwell said.
During the project’s three-plus years, contractors will bring in 30,000 cubic yards of concrete — material that will be hauled just 8 cubic yards at a time. That’s 3,750 loads.
The new interchange will include wetlands mitigation. Workers will remove an existing concrete buffer on the edge of Goose Creek and replace it with tiered dirt covered in vegetation and boulders to hold the creek side in place.
The project will be completed in four phases and is expected to be finished in October 2019.
In the three years it will take to move the interchange farther north, a lot of money will be turned over in the community.
After the interchange project wraps up, the land on which the current interchange sits will be reclaimed and turned into a park. The land around the new interchange is also sure to develop. What is a new stop on the highway without gas stations, restaurants, lodging and retail opportunities?
In addition, the interchange will be close to property purchased by Sheridan County School District 2 to build a new elementary school. When that happens, homes and stores will continue to pop up on the land.
Much of this development will be years down the road.
In the meantime, though, the money and energy that will be put into a project this size is sure to create a positive economic influence in our Western city.