By Kay Braddock
A paving project resurfacing portions of two dirt roads on the north end of Terry will be completed by the end of the week. According to Mike Sharp, Prince. Inc. project manager, the second layer of about 800 feet on Laundre Street and 1200 feet on Montague Street should be finished by Thursday.
Crews began hauling millings from an I-94 construction project, about 13 miles west of Terry, to the east end of the two streets Monday morning.
Costs to haul the millings to Terry are being paid by the Federal Highway Administration as part of the I-94 construction contract. The town has agreed to pay the costs to lay down the material, which is based on an hourly rate, but is not to exceed $20,000, according to Mayor Marvin Varner.
The original forecast to pave those portions of the two streets was much higher, but those estimates were based on the need to add oil to the milling mixture. “(It) should hold up about anything so long as it binds together,” Sharp said of the mixture, noting heat and speed of laying down the materials are the essential components.
The need to pave those portions of the two streets became more apparent as traffic increased due in part to trains blocking the railroad crossing on Secondary Highway 253. Rather than waiting, many motorists would travel west to cross the Logan Avenue railroad crossing.
Increased traffic and resulting dust issues led to a public meeting in April of last year where many north side Terry residents expressed their concerns to representatives of Burlington Northern Santa Fe and the Montana Department of Transportation.
Although BNSF representatives originally thought the railroad company might be able to help with funding the paving project, ultimately BNSF officials cited the need to close a railroad crossing before helping fund the project, according to documents provided by town attorney Dale Hubber. Town and county officials agreed that closing a crossing was not a feasible option.
Just a little over half of the millings from the I-94 project are being used on the two streets in Terry, according to Sharp. Two layers are being laid on the streets, which will result in about a 9-inch covering.
The construction company, based out of Forsyth, also laid down a 50-by-250-foot mixing pad near the town shop.
Paving the parking lot of Terry Town Hall and Fire Hall will begin once the streets are completed, according to Sharp. That project, which will also include removing the existing west end and north end sidewalks, excavating dirt and hauling away excess materials, was originally set to not exceed $10,000, based on an hourly rate. But with more work added to the project, including removing the sidewalks and hauling away the materials, the project may exceed the original projected cost. Paving the parking lot is expected to take about 10 days.
Published May 20, 2009