Wind farm construction to slow traffic

By 
Kathleen Gilluly
Thursday, July 23, 2020

Work at the Pryor Mountain Wind Project is progressing and folks in Laurel will soon see evidence of it. The $400 million wind farm near Bridger began constructing roads for the project last fall. More recently, there has been activity in the Montana Rail Link rail yard in Laurel in preparation for transporting some of the large components.

In an email to the Outlook on July 7, Ross Lane, MRL Vice President of Corporate Relations, based in Missoula wrote, “MRL is providing transportation solutions to support a new wind farm. MRL is making minor adjustments to our Laurel yard so that we can stage components for our customer. The components scheduled to arrive by railcar will be transported on rail equipment specially designed to accommodate wind farm components. We are pleased to be able to offer this service to our customers and are actively marketing the site for future wind energy developments in the region.”

The adjustments to the rail yard are the addition of trucked-in materials, which appear to be for a loading ramp or dock. It will clear in about a week when the materials and components for the wind farm project will begin arriving at the rail yard to be transferred via rail to the project site.

During the months of August, September, October, and November two loads each day will be moved through Laurel.

According to an informational announcement on the Laurel Police Department’s Facebook page, “This will effect [sic] traffic flow for 1st Ave. and all of its intersections, particularly on S. 1st Ave.” The estimated delay time will be about 7 minutes for each load, the notice continues. The times of day when traffic will be interrupted will be announced as soon as the information is available.

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