Council okays $87k Mormon Canyon Road study

(file image)

Chase Vialpando,

Despite Mayor Bruce Roumell unilaterally deciding last week that Glenrock would not be involved with Converse County’s Mormon Canyon Road project, town council voted in favor of paying between $86-$87,000  toward the project’s upcoming engineering study, officials said Feb. 9.

Converse County commissioners said they plan to reconstruct and pave almost two miles of the northern end of Mormon Canyon Road, a project at the top of their list this year and long overdue.

The road construction project area begins where the road intersects with HWY26 within town limits and ends at the turnoff to the Glenrock South Rec area.

Glenrock’s early interest in theproject stemmed from wanting to add a walking and bike path along the road, which, if done now, could be included in the project as a whole.

The county has been discussing repairing Mormon Canyon Road for about six years, Converse County Commissioner Rick Grant told the Glenrock council Monday night.

The project is estimated to cost between $2.5-$4 million, but the actual number isn’t finalized, Grant stated. 

Roumell previously told the Independent that the engineering costs outweighed the benefit to the town, as early discussions estimated the town would pay $87,000 out of a total cost in the ball park of $400,000, money which the mayor said the town does not have.

“The cost was ridiculous,” Roumell said.

However, councilman John Moulton told the mayor and other council members at the Feb. 8 meeting that he was not in favor of removing Glenrock’s involvement from the county project.

Roumell said the decision to back out of the project stemmed from the simple fact that the town hadn’t budgeted for the project this fiscal year and county commissioners expect the project to go out to bid April 1, three months before the next fiscal year starts July 1.

Commissioner Jim Willox said the county also hadn’t budgeted for the project this fiscal year, but are using money from their miscellaneous road account to pay for engineering costs. He guessed 90 percent of the costs will be accumulated in the next fiscal year.

“There are multiple possible timelines for the project, as the engineering phase is just beginning,” Willox said.

“We started (the project) now so we can have it done by fiscal year 2022,” Willox said. “Construction projects need to start this time of year so you don’t straddle the construction season.”

Willox added that if the town’s pathway design isn’t added to the project now, the town may not be able to create the pathway later.

“Because of what we have to do with the road, with the excavation of land and sandstone land,” Willox said, “depending on the design, it could be impossible to do it later if they don’t do it now.”

Still, it appears the project has already begun. Grant said surveyors from HDR Engineering Inc., an engineering firm out of Gillette,  were on Mormon Canyon Road last week surveying and staking the property.

Councilwoman Margaret Nunn said she’s in favor of hopping onboard the project.

“If we don’t get it done now, I don’t know if we’ll get it done in the future. I think it could be a nice thing for the town to have for years to come,” Nunn said.

Commissioners confirmed they will meet Feb. 10 to finalize any remaining project decisions.


Glenrock Independent

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