Tunnel Hill Road

Client: Fremont County Transportation Department          Date: June 2013 – June 2015

Total Engineering Budget: $468,843 (Including Land and ROW Acquisition)

Engineering Estimate: $1,600,000

Final Construction Cost: $859,016

Services Provided:

  • Bureau of Reclamation Coordination
  • Right-of-Way Acquisition
  • Contractor Coordination
  • New Pre-Cast Concrete Bridge Design Coordination
  • Construction Observation and Monitoring

Tunnel Hill Road, located in north central Fremont County, Wyoming, provides access to the area known as North Portal; an important agricultural production region. It also provides access to the Muddy Ridge gas field. The current geometry was designed in the late 1920’s and runs through a series of switchbacks on its way to a failing railroad flatcar bridge crossing the Wyoming canal. During good weather, the switchbacks are difficult for agricultural and gas field traffic to navigate. During adverse weather they become virtually impassable.

In an effort to accomplish the much needed improvements to Tunnel Hill Road, James Gores and Associates, Inc. was engaged by the Fremont County Transportation Department to design the realignment, removing the switchbacks. This triggered the need to also design a new bridge over the Wyoming Canal. During the design process James Gores and Associates coordinated with the two landowners on the project, the Bureau of Reclamation, and one private landowner to obtain the required new right-of-way. Coordination was also performed with the Muddy Ridge gas field operator (Encana), the Midvale Irrigation District, and High Plains Power. Deft coordination efforts led to utility conflicts being addressed, and completed, prior to budding the project – thus lowering costs associated with the construction of the realignment.

The project involves moving 60,000 cubic yards of earth material, installation of a new 75 foot pre-cast concrete bridge, site grading, drainage, and removal of the existing failing bridge. Construction was completed in the spring of 2016 with engineering coming in under budget and the project construction also under budgeted amounts.

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