April 8, 2018 - Wyoming's Westmoreland Kemmerer mine will be expanding, with WYDOT moving part of Highway 30 in order to access more coal.
State Sen. Dan Dockstader (R-Afton) worked on the bill for this project, which was known as the Lincoln County Coal Road.
“It’s a huge project,” Dockstader said. “Over 19 years it will bring 300 jobs and $305 million in tax revenue to the county.”
State funding for the move and expansion was included in this legislative session’s State-Funded Capital Construction Bill, HB0194, which was passed and signed by Gov. Matt Mead in March.
Westmoreland will fund $7.5 million of the $30 million project. The rest of the money will come from the state funding outlined in the capital construction bill and from federal funding.
Keith Compton is the WYDOT engineer for District 3, which covers all of southwest Wyoming. WYDOT will be involved in the moving and reconstruction of Highway 30, although it’s unknown whether the work will be completed through a contractor or WYDOT itself.
“We’re still in the preliminary stages,” Compton said. “We want to move forward with a project that works for Westmoreland and the community.”
Compton said WYDOT representatives will meet with Westmoreland this spring to make sure that the scope of the work is clear and to further discuss costs.
“Our target for starting this project is 2022,” Compton said.
Dockstader said the expansion will open up an additional 67 million tons of coal, which was why he was so persistent for several years to secure the funding.
“This was something I had a passion for,” Dockstader said. “I thought, this is it. No matter what else I do, this is one project I want to go through.”
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