County to consider contract for Dracut Hill Road overlay project

Next week, the Cascade County Commission will consider awarding a $837,597 contract to United Materials for road improvements.

The county only received one bid for the project to provide a nearly 3-inch overlay on 20,300 feet or 3.8 miles of Dracut Hill Road, according to county public works.

The bid came in lower than the county’s estimate for the project of $913,809, according to public works.

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The project being awarded next week doesn’t address the spring that is running through the middle of the road, which could have an additional cost.

Les Payne, deputy public works director, said he’s waiting to hear back from the engineer about that aspect of the project.

Public Works said that they hope to start the project on June 17, weather dependent.

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A portion of the project is being funded with the county’s portion of Bridge and Road Safety and Accountability Act funds.

Earlier this year, the county public works department requested their portion of BARSAA funds from the Montana Department of Transportation totaling $157,791.17 and a 5 percent county match is required. That match is $7,889.56 and was budgeted in the county’s Road Services Raw Materials fund, public works said in March.

Initially, the county intended to use the funds in Sun Prairie Village but has since decided that Dracut Hill was a higher priority project.

In 2017, the legislature passed the Bridge and Road Safety and Accountability Act, which established a graduated increase in the fuel tax by 2023.

That’s a 6 cent increase for gasoline and 2 cents for diesel.

Each fiscal year, 35 percent or $9.8 million of the proceeds, whichever is greater, is allocated to the Montana Department of Transportation. The remainder, expected to be about $21 million by fiscal year 2021, will be allocated to local governments through the BaRSAA program.

Beginning March 1 annually, local governments can request distribution of their allocation from MDT. Those allocations must be met with a minimum 5 percent match.

The road work project will include preventative maintenance overlay, width and crown preservation treatments, and seal and cover, according to the public works department.