by nathan oster
The traffic flow and appearance of the intersection of Greybull Avenue and Sixth Street will be in for a big change possibly as early as today (Thursday, May 3) with the dismantling of the steel supports for the signage and traffic light.
Officials from the Wyoming Department of Transportation and S&S Builders, which is the primary contractor for the downtown streets projects, reported during Thursday’s meeting with business owners that it should take one to two days to complete the task.
Motorists should expected 15-20 minute delays while a crane is being used to take down the supports.
A new support system for the signage and traffic light will be installed at the end of the project. Until then, the intersection will function as a four-way stop.
Discussion at Thursday morning’s meeting at the chamber office focused on beautification, the bump-out in front of the Bank of Greybull and the next phases of the construction.
Betty Koller and Brenda Peterson, who serve on the town’s tree board, asked about the fate of the only tree on the north side of Greybull Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets. It is located directly in front of The Box — and will be coming down as part of the project.
Koller asked if any arrangements had been made to either replace it or add some other elements to beautify that side of the street. “That’s a concern, I think, of the whole community, and the tree board. There should be some beautification added in — whether it’s planters or some other thing. It will look pretty stark down there if nothing is added to replace that tree.”
Paul Koenig of WYDOT and Kurt Countryman of S&S Builders said the contract does not call for trees, planters or any landscaping elements, and they suggested that it would be up to the town to add those things later, if it so chooses.
Koenig said it wasn’t that WYDOT refused to put plantings into the plan.
“No one asked,” he said.
Sue Anderson, executive director of the Greybull Area Chamber of Commerce, said the four-sided, memory brick planters will help somewhat, noting that the plan is for them to be placed on the bump-outs.
Koenig said contractors got off to a good start, but did encounter a problem in front of the Bank of Greybull, where the existing slope of the sidewalk required some modifications to the original plan in order to make the new sidewalk ADA compliant.
The focus of the project will shift next week to the sidewalk on the north side of Greybull Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets. Countryman said S&S crews will do what they must do, then get out of the way to allow the town to complete infrastructure, such as moving a fire hydrant and modifying water lines.
While that is taking place, S&S crews will be focusing on the west side of Sixth Street, directly south of the Bank of Greybull. Work on the other two corners (in front of Probst Western Store and the Historic Hotel Greybull) will follow.
Koenig and Countryman said their hope is that the most impactful work on Greybull Avenue and Sixth Street in the downtown area will be done prior to the Days of ’49 celebration, which is scheduled for June 7-9.
To address concerns about the limited parking in the downtown area, Cody Beers, a public involvement specialist for WYDOT, said the highway department is just waiting on a notice to proceed for the paving of the parking lot where the old gas station used to sit at the corner of Sixth Street and First Avenue North. That lot is empty, staked and ready to be paved.
“We’re trying to find out what the schedule (for that paving) is going to be — and if they aren’t going to get in there for a couple more weeks, we’re just going to pull the stakes and let folks park in there,” Beers said.
Beers added that the removal of the steel supports at the intersection “will improve the situation there as far as the work crew getting its work done.”