Meeting customer’s distribution needs required large storage and processing area as well as access to both rail and highway networks. To accomplish this, a facility able to hold more than 22,000 tons of fertilizer, supplied directly to the customer’s field and bagged for sale at local retailers, was needed. The engineering behind ensuring everything runs safely, efficiently, and effectively was crucial when developing the plan and throughout the construction process. The plant was constructed along BNSF railway allowing for efficient transportation of key ingredients and final product delivery. The site required the construction of more than two miles of new rail capable of unloading an 85-car train of raw products in 12 hours, as well as allowing trucks to load and move efficiently throughout the site. In addition to the fertilizer plant itself, the site was master-planned to house three additional warehouses for chemicals and supplies, bulk fuel storage, distribution plant, and up to 120,000 gallons of propane storage and distribution. The site has quick access to Interstates 90 and 94 and is the first development within the Lockwood Targeted Economic Development District located around the planned Billings bypass project.
Our team worked directly with the Town & Country through the land purchase due diligence for the completion of the project, taking care of all the engineering, planning and surveying needs. Our design team worked one-on-one with both BNSF Railway and Montana Rail Link to come up with an efficient and effective operating plan. We also designed all on-site stormwater management components, accesses, and a stand-alone fire-fighting system, with the ability to connect to the public water supply in the future. In cooperation with Montana Rail Link, BNSF Railway, Yellowstone County, and Town & Country, our team was able to extend an existing county road and remedy a historic legal access issue on the site. During construction, our team provided all the staking and layout of the site and fertilizer plant building, which included over 4,500 cubic yards of concrete.
The site serves as the distribution point for not only dry fertilizer but chemicals, supplies, diesel, gasoline, and propane. In our role as advisor and partner with Town & Country Supply Association, we were able to develop a 25-acre hay field with no legal access into the agricultural supply hub of southeastern Montana. This project was awarded a 2019 Engineering Excellence Award from ACEC Montana.