The contract for the new rest area was awarded to Montana Rest Area JV Partners by the Montana Transportation Commission in April, after MDT considered two bids for a facility to replace the existing one in Bozeman.

Under the terms of the deal, the partners will build a $2.69 million rest area about a half-mile north of the Wheat Montana Bakery and Deli on the west side of Highway 287 in exchange for the Bozeman rest area property, which recently appraised for $3.818 million. To account for the difference in property values, the developer will pay a $1.1 million credit to the state at the time the transfer takes place.

The other bidder, Dick Anderson Construction/Town Pump, submitted a bid proposal in the amount of about $3.818 million to build a new rest area south of I-90 at the same interchange.

A major factor in determining the best bid was assurance that water and sewer service to the new rest area will be provided by a utility department being developed in the TEDD district across Highway 287 from the rest area, according to William Fogarty, MDT district administrator. That utility will provide water and sewer service to a new Bridger Brewing location and other future enterprises in the district.

The architect for the new rest area said the design is much like the MDT rest area located south of Ennis on Raynolds Pass. Among the safety features designed into the structure are secure, locking, individual restrooms and large windows to enable visitors to see others in the building before they enter.

Completion of the new facility is expected in fall 2022.

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