With a long-standing history of the community’s economy being shaped in the mining and power generation industries, this came as an immense challenge to the community of 2,200 residents. Due to changes happening in both the regulatory industries as well as legal rulings, the implications of this change are far greater than just one community, and will be felt across the state of Montana. Our team joined forces with the City of Colstrip and the Southeastern Montana Development Corporation (SEMDC) to help find a long-term, sustainable solution.


Our main objective was to explore various ways to help diversify the community’s economy. This project is a genuine, ongoing partnership that bridges the gap between traditional technical engineering and contemporary engineering of a society to provide a sense of place for future generations. The diversification strategy proved the value of incorporating the technical, with human elements of a monumental regional shift. By understanding the infrastructure assets and demands of the region as well as the economic capabilities of the land, people, and industry we could develop a public-driven action plan.

Our team, in close cooperation with SEMDC, and the public, established a development strategy that was ready to implement to assist Colstrip in transitioning from almost a single-industry economy to a comprehensive, sustainable model. This project was recognized by the The American Council of Engineering Companies of Montana (ACEC/MT) for excellence in engineering.

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