A $4.93 million street project involving concrete replacement in downtown Cody is set to start in 11 days.
To prepare the community in advance, on Feb. 13 the Wyoming Department of Transportation shared details of the project during a public meeting in the Cody Auditorium.
Among the roughly 35 people attending were those representing downtown businesses. They were told how the project will affect traffic patterns and customer access to their stores, and learned how construction could impact buildings.
Representatives from prime contractor S&S Builders of Gillette and the City of Cody explained strategies and answered questions along with WYDOT reps.
The project involves work on Sheridan from 10th Street east to 17th and then north up the Greybull Hill to Stampede. Work will include concrete slab replacement, curb and gutter, double gutters and sidewalks on Sheridan and 17th. Plus every street corner will be brought up to federal Americans With Disabilities Act standards.
S&S Builders is scheduled to begin the 89-day Phase 1 construction March 2, weather permitting. The initial phase will encompass 10th-14th streets. An early goal is to finish work along Moose Creek Lodge on the north half of Sheridan between 10th and 11th streets. This will free up access to the motel prior to the tourist season.
Both street intersections on the north side will be closed on that first day.
“S&S is only allowed to close two intersections at a time,” S&S spokesman Kurt Countryman said
Two-lane traffic will be allowed on the south half of the street. Narrower lanes may impact trucks and the speed limit will be reduced to 20 miles per hour through the work zone. Left turns will not be allowed.
Cody Beers, WYDOT spokesman, said there will always be at least one lane of traffic going in each direction down Sheridan.
Parking will be limited.
After S&S reaches halfway between 11-12th, work will leapfrog between the north and south sides to 14th. They have an option to go as far as 15th if time allows.
Countryman addressed safety concerns for people crossing the street.
“In some places it will be way easier than in others,” he said. “It will be a work in progress.”
He said jack hammer work will cause a lot of vibration in stores. Merchants should move any glass items displayed in front windows to the back during that time.
Beers attempted to alleviate fears of the vibrations’ impact.
“I’m not sure you can compare it to Harley’s going down Sheridan,” he said.
Businesses may also have to deal with concrete dust.
Countryman said they will run vacuums when workers are operating the saws and do a lot of wet sawing.
Another concern is keeping flying debris such as concrete chips from breaking store windows.
“When sandblasting, we will have plywood shields in front to protect (stores) as best we can,”Countryman said.
Several outside entities will collaborate work. The City of Cody, CenturyLink and Black Hills Energy plan to move or adjust utilities while the area is torn up.
Phillip Bowman, city public works director, does not expect city upgrades to cause much disruption.
“We don’t want to get in the way of S&S,” he said. “They’re on a tight schedule.”
WYDOT, S&S and the city will share updates during weekly meetings open to the public on Tuesdays in the Cody Club room 10-11 a.m. starting March 3.
In addition, WYDOT will send construction updates to such services as ambulance services, the fire department, police and sheriff, highway patrol, postmaster, chamber of commerce and school bus barn.
Phase 1 will cease June 15, when S&S must remove materials, debris and traffic control from the project area.
“All the orange cones will be gone,” Beers said.
Phase 2 construction will pick up at Alger starting Aug. 25 and work backwards. It continues until weather forces a shutdown.
“We can’t do this work in the winter,” Beers said. “We can’t do this work when temperatures are below freezing.”
The schedule is based on the best conditions. S&S intends to work 7 a.m.-7 p.m. six days per week. Grinding, texturing and resealing joints will occur at night starting at 9.
“I’d say if we get behind on this job we will be working seven days per week,” Todd Frost, WYDOT resident engineer, said.
Additional hours of operation must be approved 14 days in advance so WYDOT has time to notify the impacted property owners and the public.
Phases 3-4 take the work into 2021 with a tourist break between June 16 and Aug. 24, 2021. WYDOT has added a $200,000 incentive to S&S Builders’ contract if all work on the project is finished before June 15, 2021.
Contact Beers at (307) 856-1341 or firstname.lastname@example.org with comments or questions.