A Wyoming House panel has approved a scaled-back version of
a bill that would accelerate funding for multilane highway projects. The
measure has been sent to the full House for consideration.
Sponsored by Sen. Michael Von Flatern, R-Gillette, the bill
would spend $20 million, one-time, for engineering and constructing multilane
highways. The revenue would come from the state’s Budget Reserve Account.
The original language of the bill would have diverted $36
million in federal mineral tax income a year for four-lane projects, with no
The bill – SF127 – passed the House Appropriations Committee
Feb. 15 on a 4-3 vote. It previously passed the Senate.
Sen. Gerald Geis, R-Worland, recently told The Associated
Press the measure – SF127 – would help parts of the state lacking
interstate highways, while Sen. Jayne Mockler, D-Cheyenne, termed the bill an
appropriate use of extra money the state is receiving due to greater mineral
The cost to widen existing two-lane roads into four lanes is
about $2 million per mile, said Del McOmie, chief engineer for the Wyoming
Department of Transportation.
At that cost, McOmie said new dollars would pay for only a
few miles of work.
Von Flatern’s bill was amended by the Senate to remove
reference to four-lane highways; “multilane” was substituted because some areas
might allow only enough room for three lanes. Other segments might be widened
to five lanes.