Decorative streetlights are finally coming to North Federal this summer

(Riverton, WY) – More than 50 new decorative streetlights will be installed on North Federal Boulevard this summer, at long last.

“People call me (and ask), ‘When are the lights going to be up?’” Councilwoman Kristy Salisbury said. “I’m happy they’re going up.”

Councilwoman Karla Borders said she felt like doing “cartwheels” when she saw the item on the agenda for March 1.

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“It’s just so exciting,” she said. “I’m anxious to see it finished.”

The infrastructure for the new lights has been in place since 2019, when North Federal Boulevard was reconstructed. But the city didn’t have enough money to buy the actual light poles at that time, public works director Kyle Butterfield said.

In 2021, the city got an 80/20 matching grant to complete the project from the federal Transportation Alternative Program. But because the money came from the federal government, Butterfield said the project was “a little bit stalled” by environmental review requirements.

“When we applied for the grant, we planned to use the environmental review that was completed for the (North Federal) reconstruction project,” Butterfield explained. “But we just missed the deadline of when it expired, (so) we had to go through the whole … process in order to get environmental clearance, because these are federal dollars.”

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Now, he said, there is another delay involving the Buy America certified materials that must be used in order to qualify for federal funding.

“It is anticipated that (those) materials… are about 12-16 weeks out at this time,” Butterfield said, citing manufacturing and supply chain delays. “So it’s unlikely we’ll be able to complete this project this fiscal year. But we’ll get the order made.”

Inflation

The Riverton City Council awarded the bid for the lighting project to Advanced Electrical Contracting Inc. out of Casper for about $570,000.

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The city originally estimated the project would cost less than $550,000, Butterfield said, but that calculation was made in 2020.

The adjusted 2022 estimate amounts to more than $590,000, he said – a $40,000 increase in costs over the course of two years.

It’s too late for the increase to be reflected in the grant award for the project, so Butterfield said the city will have to “cover that difference.”

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The extra $20,000 needed to cover the Advanced Electrical bid could come out of the city’s capital fund “from projects we’ve awarded that have not been as expensive as we anticipated,” Butterfield said, or it can be incorporated into the upcoming fiscal year budget.

The new decorative streetlights will run from Sunset Drive to the north side of Webbwood Road.

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