Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

CSKT paves the way to Sun Down Homesites in Ronan

By Adriana Fehrs

Smiths Paving and Contracting employees work through the heat to finish paving Pewlosape Lane, once a dirt road, which leads into the Sun Down Homesites in Ronan. CSKT Roads Program oversaw the project. (Adriana Fehrs photo)  Smiths Paving and Contracting employees work through the heat to finish paving Pewlosape Lane, once a dirt road, which leads into the Sun Down Homesites in Ronan. CSKT Roads Program oversaw the project. (Adriana Fehrs photo)

RONAN — The Sun Down Homesites are getting a face-lift. Construction began back in mid-June, and finally CSKT Roads Program is finishing up the final touches.

The existing tribal Sun Down Homesites is located on Pewlosape Lane. Since the original construction on the properties, a dilapidated dirt road has been the only access way for residents of the twenty homesites.

Workers smooth out the newly formed concrete curb that is being placed at the Sun Down tribal homesites outside of Ronan. Construction began in mid June, and is estimate to be completed by August 23. (Adriana Fehrs photo) Workers smooth out the newly formed concrete curb that is being placed at the Sun Down tribal homesites outside of Ronan. Construction began in mid June, and is estimate to be completed by August 23. (Adriana Fehrs photo)

“Priority for road improvement at the homesites came up this year,” says Dan Lozar, CSKT Safety of Dams / Roads Program Manager. As a part of the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), CSKT is paving the road.

There’s a lot that goes into paving a road. Smiths Paving and Contracting of Polson, whom the tribes contracted to complete the project, had to lay down geotextile fabric to separate the gravel from the sandy soil; then, they laid gravel, which would become the road base. After, large trucks poured concrete into slip forms to create the curbs. Smith Paving then constructed gutters and storm drains.

Tim Cantu sweeps the newly laid concrete as a way to provide traction control. “A lot of what we are doing is for safety,” Dan Lozar, CSKT Safety of Dams / Roads Program Manager. (Adriana Fehrs photo)  Tim Cantu sweeps the newly laid concrete as a way to provide traction control. “A lot of what we are doing is for safety,” Dan Lozar, CSKT Safety of Dams / Roads Program Manager. (Adriana Fehrs photo)

“A lot of what we are doing is for safety,” says Lozar. The roads program may just be paving an old dirt road, but to make the new road safe for residents, they are adding several American with Disabilities Act (ADA) features. Sidewalks on both sides of the road, signage, three crosswalks, and truncated domes at sidewalk crossings are all added features. Workers also ‘sweep’ the concrete to form paths for water to run down, which lessens the likelihood that the sidewalk and curb will be slippery. Lozar explains, “There are a lot of children out here, and pedestrian safety is always a priority when designing a project.” CSKT has also taken provision to ensure that residents always have access to their homes during the construction, and as well as emergency services.

Brandon Gibson, Smith Paving and Contracting, takes time to smooth out the newly laid concrete curb. CSKT Roads Program is paving the quarter mile stretch of road that is located at the Sun Down homesites outside of Ronan. Dan Lozar, CSKT Safety of Dams / Roads Program Manager, says the project is also about pride, “When we improve a site, we see a rise in pride of the homesite residents, and it’s good for the community.” (Adriana Fehrs photo) Brandon Gibson, Smith Paving and Contracting, takes time to smooth out the newly laid concrete curb. CSKT Roads Program is paving the quarter mile stretch of road that is located at the Sun Down homesites outside of Ronan. Dan Lozar, CSKT Safety of Dams / Roads Program Manager, says the project is also about pride, “When we improve a site, we see a rise in pride of the homesite residents, and it’s good for the community.” (Adriana Fehrs photo)

Lozar says the project is also about pride, “When we improve a site, we see a rise in pride of the homesite residents, and it’s good for the community.”

The roads project has been a successful collaboration between several CSKT departments. “We’ve really had some solid teamwork in order to get this project done. Everything has really proceeded smoothly with no delays,” says Lozar. Tribal lands dealt with the land leases, Salish Kootenai Housing Authority helped with the waterline, and the Roads Program managed the construction of the quarter mile stretch of road.

“It’s really been a hotbed of activity out here,” says Lozar. During the curb and gutter phase of the project, 15 to 20 workers have been on site, and at least six core people from Smith Paving and two CSKT Roads personnel project have been working on the project. Quality Control and Quality Assurance testing has consistently been out to the site to ensure specifications are being fulfilled.

The existing tribally owned Sun Down Homesites is located on Pewlosape Lane. Since the original construction on the properties, a dilapidated dirt road has been the only access way for residents of the twenty homesites. “Priority for road improvement at the homesites came up this year,” says Dan Lozar, CSKT Safety of Dams / Roads Program Manager. As a part of the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), CSKT is paving the road. (Adriana Fehrs photo) The existing tribally owned Sun Down Homesites is located on Pewlosape Lane. Since the original construction on the properties, a dilapidated dirt road has been the only access way for residents of the twenty homesites. “Priority for road improvement at the homesites came up this year,” says Dan Lozar, CSKT Safety of Dams / Roads Program Manager. As a part of the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), CSKT is paving the road. (Adriana Fehrs photo)

Next on their agenda is to finish construction of the sidewalks and finish paving the road. Completion of the project is estimated for August 23. Lozar says, “It’s interesting to compare and contrast the differences of how the road was before construction, and now. We are excited to finish up this project, and the residents have been very cooperative with us, we really appreciate that.”

Advertise with us!
Share
submit to reddit
Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious