WYDOT Grand Ave construction file photo

Construction workers make progress working on Grand Avenue between 15th and 21st streets in summer 2014. WYDOT is planning additional Grand Avenue improvements this summer from Third to 15th streets.

The tree area of Grand Avenue is going to drive a lot smoother once the city of Laramie and the Wyoming Department of Transportation finish their repairs this summer.

WYDOT is planning to make several updates to Grand Avenue between Third and 15th streets, including resurfacing the road and making intersections more accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act. WYDOT public relations specialist Matt Murphy said the stoplights at the intersections of Grand Avenue Fourth Street and Grand Avenue and Ninth Street will also be upgraded.

“(The intersections will) still be set up the same way,” Murphy said. “We’re just upgrading the infrastructure there.”

Given the scope of the project, traffic will be affected. Murphy said people should be prepared for traffic changes due to closures throughout the summer.

“When we do start construction, there will be lane closures on Grand Avenue in that section,” Murphy said. “So, it’ll be a two-lane street, and we’ll work on one side at a time.”

He added the engineers and crew working on the project are having a meeting later this month to finalize lane-closure schedule details and more exact timelines for the project.

Expecting to start the project right after Memorial Day, Murphy said WYDOT’s completion date is “by Aug. 31.”

To avoid having to tear up newly resurfaced road, the city prioritized a project underneath Grand Avenue to be completed before WYDOT’s project begins. On Monday, the city will close Grand Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets so city staff and crews from Bug Huhnks Excavation can start sanitary sewer repairs underground. Right now, the projected completion date for the repairs is May 28.

“We’re hoping it’s not quite that long, but that’s the construction contract length,” interim Public Works Director Brooks Webb said during the City Council’s capital plan budgeting work session April 10.

While WYDOT’s repairs won’t close Grand Avenue completely, the city will close the street for its sanitary sewer repairs. When the road is closed, eastbound traffic will be diverted to Garfield Street and westbound traffic will be diverted to Ivinson Avenue.

“We’re hoping people figure it out and avert even farther out and go another way if they can,” Webb said during the work session.

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