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South Federal planning under way
Ed Douma, the Wyoming Department of Transportation project director, and WyDOT employee Kathryn Sednek, left, addressed the concerns of Margaret Young and Bud Bintzler regarding the improvement project on South Federal Boulevard expected to begin later this year. Riverton city council member Jonathan Faubion listened in. Photos by Alejandra Silva

South Federal planning under way

Mar 1, 2013 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

The Wyoming Department of Transportation had a public meeting Tuesday at Riverton City Hall to inform city residents and business owners about the effects on traffic while the reconstruction project on South Federal Boulevard begins.

Attendees also were encouraged to "to enhance the public process" by contributing questions and concerns, participating in weekly meetings, and checking out social media outlets for additional information from WyDOT.

Bidding from contractors for the South Federal/Monroe Avenue improvement project is set for July. Improvements will take place 250 feet south of East Monroe Avenue and will extend 0.4 miles north of East Washington Avenue. Some work on Monroe Avenue will extend 250 feet in each direction from Federal Boulevard.

"What we're really trying to do tonight is capture your wishes for how you'd like this construction to go," WyDOT information specialist Cody Beers said. "We're looking for your ideas."

Resident engineer Robert Scheidemantel said that if the chosen contractor decided to have employees work 24 hours a day for the project, he would give them the OK. He said that although it could cost more it would cut the project's duration of construction.

"Our goal for this project is to get the work done with the least amount of impact on citizens, on business owners, (and) people who drive on Federal Boulevard," Beers said.

Beers said he does not expect the project to affect some summer city events, such as the Fremont County Fair at the end of July, because construction may not begin until late August. But if construction is under way during an event, construction crews will be notified of the expected increase in traffic, and they will continue to work. Work will only be halted on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day if construction is being done during that time.

Beers said they hope to maintain two-way traffic lanes without having to re-route traffic.

Wind River RV Park manager Joe Pepper said that although his business is located on Park Avenue, a few blocks east of North Federal Boulevard, he expects a decrease in customers and plans on letting go two of his employees.

The owner of a business on South Federal Boulevard and East Adams Street asked for clarification about possible easements on her property.

Others present seemed more concerned about how long the project would take to complete. The officials could not provide a definite answer because many other contributing planning phases have not been established, and the bidding for the project has not been done.

Charlie Johnson, the owner of Blackhawk Security on Federal Boulevard, said that he sees many pedestrians throughout the day and improving the sidewalks would be beneficial to them.

The exact dates and locations for future public meetings will be announced soon.

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