Yellowstone County and Big Sky Economic Development Association (BSEDA) recognized the need for the Billings/ Lockwood area to remain regionally competitive. Previous analysis pointed out the need for an industrial park in the Billings area as there was a dearth of immediately developable land for “shovel-ready” projects, especially in the 10-acre size range. While other cities in Montana have successfully completed industrial park projects, including Missoula and Great Falls, the demand for industrial land in the Billings region is great and the Lockwood TEDD area is one of the few locations in the region that is best poised to take advantage of rail and road opportunities.
KLJ was hired to create the Lockwood TEDD Master Plan. The Master Plan includes the ability to foster economic and employment opportunities, provide a locally-driven funding tool to fund construction and maintenance of key infrastructure investments needed to encourage growth including roads, water, sewer, rail, and flood protection alternatives, and attract industry and leads to additional private investments in the Lockwood area. By involving the community through a series of public input meetings, KLJ was able to prioritize needs then propose solutions for feedback throughout the process.
The Master Plan benefitted the Billings community and the surrounding area by creating an area to allow infrastructure to build, as well as retain businesses. The Master Plan was necessary to plan infrastructure in connection with the Billings Bypass development and ensure both projects could move forward without sacrificing goals of either. The impacts of the full development of the Lockwood TEDD could affect the entire region for 500 miles surrounding Billings. The TEDD’s development of infrastructure will encourage the retention and attention of business owners, creating new wealth. By creating an industrial park because of the Lockwood TEDD, the land will increase the ability to host multiple tenants producing secondary value-added products or commodities. This project was awarded a 2019 Engineering Excellence Award from ACEC Montana.