BUILD Grant Update April 2021
BUILD Grant Update –April 23, 2021
The City of Billings was awarded a BUILD grant in September of 2020. To keep the City Council updated on activities and milestones, this update will be provided monthly. Information will be provided by the Public Works Engineering Division, Planning Division and City Administration.
- The draft agreement template was received by the City on March 26. Staff has started reviewing the agreement template. Note: The agreement cannot be submitted until the construction documents are ready. This means the City will need to complete the right-of-way purchase, environmental documents and final construction documents before the agreement is sent to Federal Highways (FHWA) for its review. Staff anticipates that the draft agreement could be sent this fall (more on the right-of-way and environmental process below). It is anticipated that the FHWA review and signing could take up to 6-months. This tentatively puts an executed agreement to April 2022. Once the city receives the executed agreement, the project can be bid. These tentative dates do not take in account the potential for some back and forth between the city and FHWA on the final agreement.
- There are two active Engineering items on the IBL. We anticipate receiving the six appraisals for right-of-way procurement from Mr. Repac this week, after he worked through the various federal requirements. Additionally, we have been in contact with an environmental professional that has completed the NEPA environmental process for other recent TIGER and BUILD grants as required for federal funding. At this time, based on several discussions with the professional services firm, we anticipate the fee being less than $50,000 such that the work can be contracted direct. We anticipate completing the environmental scoping and contracting this week, and look to have the environmental (NEPA) work completed within about 6 months from contracting. The 6 months includes consultant work to prepare the field review and reports, submittals by the consultant to various agencies, and review by agencies for approval.
- Planning continues to work on setting up the numerous progress reports that will be required FHWA to administer the grant.
- Working with the city’s FHWA representative, we are developing a date for a public announcement and press release as official kick off of the project. Staff will be coordinating between FHWA, Congressional delegation, and Mayor/Council for the event timing.
Next steps: Continue initial review of the agreement, continue right-of-way procurement and environmental work. Staff will continue with regular meetings and correspondence with our FHWA representative. Schedule public announcement and press event.