With North Federal rebuild near, business wins approval for temp accessJan 3, 2018 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer
In anticipation of the lengthy North Federal Boulevard reconstruction project set to begin this year, Big Horn Co-op has asked for a temporary business access point from the City of Riverton.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation plans to maintain a minimum of two travel lanes for two-way traffic throughout the duration of the project on the, but vehicular traffic along North Federal will be affected significantly.
North Federal is a four-lane route normally, with a center turning lane as well.
To lessen the impact, Big Horn Co-op, 1157 N. Federal Blvd., has requested creating an entrance in the rear of its property onto Pure Gas Road by the Rails to Trails path.
No city liability
Public works director Kyle Butterfield said he thought the arrangement would be manageable as long as interested stakeholders signed a memorandum of understanding stating that any damage to public property as a result of the creation of the temporary access point would be the responsibility of Big Horn Co-op.
The business also will cover maintenance and must remove the temporary access point "within 30 days after substantial completion" of the North Federal project, which is expected to last through October 2019.
"There is no financial burden for the city or county for this temporary access," Butterfield said.
The Riverton City Council and Fremont County Commission both approved the MOU Tuesday, Dec. 19.
City staff explained that the county is involved because it owns the Rails to Trails property.
Pure Gas Road is a city right-of-way.
Regular customers to Big Horn Co-op include industrial vehicle drivers stopping to refuel or deliver or load propane, petroleum products, lumber, feed, cattle, panels, beans, and other supplies. The business also has a truck scale and offers agricultural services. The temporary access point would accommodate the heavier trucks.
Council members questioned whether Pure Gas Road would be capable of handling the heavier traffic.
"We will design the temporary access to accommodate any legal size highway load that would normally travel down any of the roads there in Riverton," said Eric Carr with James Gores and Associates, who was hired to design and install the temporary access point.
Butterfield said Pure Gas Road was not designed or built for heavy industrial traffic, but an overlay was performed three years ago, when the shoulders were also improved.
"There's a potential for rutting or cracking on overlay," he said, but he also reminded the council that the business would pay for any damages.
Carr clarified that the temporary access point would be a secondary option for customers.
"They will still have the access point from North Federal," he said. "However we all know that when construction is going on it's much more difficult, so this will be a less-impeded access to their facility."
Council members suggested the MOU might prompt other businesses on North Federal to request temporary access points, too.
Carr told the council that, because the reconstruction project was announced, Big Horn Co-op and James Gores and Associates have been talking to other nearby businesses about the possibility of a cost-sharing agreement through which the access point would serve multiple properties.
So far, other businesses have not entered into negotiations for an agreement, but Carr said the situation could change once the construction begins.