BUILD Grant Update May 2022

The City of Billings was awarded a BUILD grant in September of 2020.

We are excited to announce that after a year of back and forth with FHWA, the City has submitted (on April 28) the draft Grant Agreement for review by the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST)! FHWA worked extensively with the City to ensure the draft agreement was in a format that would be accepted by OST for their review. This review could take a few weeks and the City may be asked to clarify or edit some information. But once the City receives notice that the draft has been accepted, City staff will be able to direct Mayor Cole to sign the agreement on the City’s behalf.

The execution of the agreement will allow FHWA to obligate the BUILD grant funds to the project. Execution of the agreement will also allow the City to start the RFP/bid solicitation process for the construction phase. The FHWA authorizes the RFP/bidding process, this includes a final FHWA approval of the construction and bidding documents. It is currently anticipated that the FHWA authorization to bid will occur in August, after the FHWA signs the grant agreement.

Right-of-way acquisition can continue to move forward as the City funding match is earmarked for construction phases only.

The City received some exciting news this week.  The Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) Land Board approved the right-of-way easement on May 16, 2022 through the two State land parcels.  Staff anticipates this approval will accelerate other right-of-way negotiations with adjacent private landowners.

In the meantime, here are other activities continuing to move forward:

•    Plan review by FHWA is ongoing

•    Final MDOT approval of the design plans of the Skyline Trail and parking improvements along Highway 3 anticipated next week

•    Right-of-way negotiations with private landowners progressing rapidly