Railroad Overpass in Cut Bank, At Long Last!
We might just call it perseverance! There are many in Cut Bank that have never given up on an overpass being built, but it has been a long time coming. Former Cut Bank Mayor, Councilman and still a businessman, Bill McCauley says the city has documentation as far back as 1939 that shows City leaders, like Gene Boyle, saw the need for an overpass.
Well, now it looks like the idea is coming to fruition. Mick Johnson, the regional supervisor with the Department of Transportation in Great Falls told us that bids for the project have been let and an apparent successful low bidder will be awarded the project. Low bid for the project was submitted LCH INC. of Kalispell at 6.29-million. That’s approximately 600-thousand dollars under the engineers estimates of 6.86 million.
Johnson says as soon as formalities, such as the official awarding of the bid by Highway Commission, are taken care of, the project should begin quickly this spring. Construction work would have to start wrapping up in early November, but Johnson says with any luck at all, the overpass would be nearly completed by then.
Bill McCauley emphasized that this project would not have been possible without the help from surrounding counties, Teton, Pondera, Liberty and Toole, who actually gave up funding dollars on the priority list because, in his words, “they knew how much Cut Bank needed an overpass. He also gave credit to former Glacier County Commissioners Ray Salois, Alan Lowery and Bill Icenoggle who were instrumental in making the project happen.
In addition to the safety concerns being satisfied, McCauley says that there’s always been talk about further development on the North side of Cut Bank if companies or individuals knew they would have uninterrupted access to the north side.
The overpass will be constructed just to the East of the Albertson’s supermarket.