State officials have set the total project cost at approximately $55 million.
Wyoming Department of Transportation spokeswoman Ronda Holwell said that should be close to the total project cost.
“That’s the WYDOT cost, the city cost,” she said. “What an engineer would have to come in and bid it at.”
Rick Newton, of the Wyoming Transportation Commission, said the project is going to be the state’s biggest project moving forward.
“It’s the biggest in the state for 2016,” he said.
That $55 million estimate comes from a draft of WYDOT’s State Transportation Improvement Program, which lays out all of the projects planned in the coming year and what each will cost.
After six years of discussion, the North Main Interchange (exit 20) has made the list.
Holwell said there should be an engineering firm picked by December.
The project is expected to take three years to complete, based on early estimates, but once an engineering firm is selected that timeline should be more specific.
The project will require a realignment of Wyoming Highway 338, commonly called Decker Road.
The south end of that route will become an extension of North Main Street to the new junction with I-90. The Decker Road underpass will be removed and the route will no longer pass under I-90, but all accesses from Decker Road will be maintained.
Both northbound and southbound I-90 bridges over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, immediately east of the existing interchange, will be replaced.
The three miles of I-90 being reconstructed are located between mileposts 19.5 and 22.5.
Work also includes rebuilding a half-mile of North Main Street north from the intersection with Wyoming Highway 337, or Fort Road.
What hasn’t yet been decided is in what order the project will be completed.
Once the project starts, Holwell said, WYDOT plans to have weekly public meetings to provide updates.
But first the engineer will decide what the construction plan is, and will share that with the public.
“(They’ll say) what they’re going to construct first and what they’re going to construct last,” she said.
A public meeting will take place in October or November to go through the planned design and get community feedback.
Before construction begins in the spring, another public meeting will take place.
The project was first discussed 20 years ago while discussing Sheridan’s port of entry.
When the port of entry was moved to I-90 exit 16, improvements to North Main were relatively forgotten.
Six years ago the project was brought back up because of the sharp curve of the on ramp and off ramps, relatively steep grades, and short acceleration and deceleration lanes. After many meetings and discussions through the past six years the state is planning to back the project.
Holwell said at this point, there isn’t any turning back.
“It’s going to go,” she said.