BUILD Grant Update July 2021

BUILD Grant Update –August 6, 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.

    • There are three active Engineering items occurring.

    1. The draft environmental document and resource reports were submitted to FHWA on 6/22/21. The report consisted of the noise determination memo, biological resources review, cultural resources review, air quality review, indirect and cumulative effects analysis, and aquatic resources report. FHWA comments were received 7/6/21. Our consultant is currently working through the edits and revising the resource reports based on FHWA comments. The City is in the process of providing additional documentation to the consultant to address comments related to MS4 compliance, Section 4(f) recreational properties, potential wetland impacts, and adjacent developments.
    2. The geotechnical borings were completed on the Skyline Trail portion of the project the week of July 19th. The geotechnical engineer is analyzing the borings and recommendations will be incorporated into the final design of the Skyline Trail.
    3. One of the property owners along the Inner Belt Loop recently modified property lines with a new Certificate of Survey. These changes are being addressed in the final appraisals for the project and City Staff is working with the appraiser to make the required changes. The third-party ROW review appraisals are mostly complete, but are being updated to incorporate the new parcel boundary changes before final completion.
    4. Related to the road design, the consultant has added the federal requirements into the bidding documents that will be sent to FHWA for a cursory review for compliance.
    5. City staff met with several of the individual landowners to discuss the project and potential development of their property and is reaching out to other property owners to schedule meetings.
  • Planning continues to work on setting up the numerous progress reports that will be required FHWA to administer the grant.
  • City staff and staff from FHWA and MDT continue to meet regularly or stay in contact as the grant process moves forward.
  • 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.