BUILD Grant Update June 2021

BUILD Grant Update –June 25, 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. To provide as much information on the BUILD grant process, staff has developed a website to house information. This website is still in development and information will be continually added as available if please check back for updated material. BUILD Grant

  • The draft agreement template has been received by the City. This agreement will be developed with input from the City and FHWA in the next few months. 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. It is anticipated that the FHWA review and signing could take up to 6-months. This tentatively puts an executed agreement to April 2022; however, staff is doing everything possible to expedite any requirement. 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.
  • At the June 15 PCC meeting, the City hosted an official kickoff meeting of the BUILD grant. Those in attendance included representatives from Senator Tester, Daines and Congressman Rosendale. Lucia Olivera, FHWA District Administrator, City Council representation and guests. This kickoff officially started the process for developing the Grant Agreement. City staff has been working locally to get our requirements initiated and completed. Those items are outlined further below.
  • There are three active Engineering items occurring.
    1. The environmental work is nearly complete and a draft package will be submitted to FHWA for review this week. The environmental work consists of the noise determination memo, biological resources review, cultural resources review, air quality review, indirect and cumulative effects analysis, and aquatic resources report (wetland report). A meeting was held with FHWA officials this week to discuss the submittal and review timeline. The initial review is anticipated to take two weeks, upon which comments will be addressed and resubmitted.
    2. The Skyline Trail portion of the project is proceeding, with the geotechnical borings scheduled for the end of July. The professional services agreement for final design and geotechnical work will be approved at the July 12th City Council meeting. Final design would be started and completed after the soil borings and analysis is completed.
    3. The City has received the updated appraisals (for the 2021) and is now having them reviewed by a separate third-party appraiser per FHWA requirements. The third-party ROW appraisal review will begin in July. On the IBL road design, the engineering division is working with Sanderson Stewart to add the federal requirements into the bidding documents and reviewing the 90 percent construction plans and specifications. In parallel to the design effort, City staff is meeting with individual landowners to discuss development of their property. 
      • Planning continues to work on setting up the numerous progress reports that will be required FHWA to administer the grant.
      • 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. BUILD website will be continually updated with information as it is available.