Trends Summer 2015 | Page 18

Connector provides safe passage to park

The project also made travel safer for vehicles . Hendon explained that two formerly skewed side streets on the south end of Holliday Park were realigned to form 90-degree angles where they intersect with Nationway , improving driver visibility .
Ayres coordinated with the Wyoming Department of Transportation to shut down the highly traveled Lincolnway for two-and-a-half days during installation of the underpass .

A round the same time the

conceptual study for Lake
Minnehaha ’ s ecological mitigation was under development , additional Ayres staff were hired to design a pedestrian underpass at the south end of Holliday Park .
Now complete , the underpass is making for safer travel across a busy , four-lane state highway and nonstop travel from Holliday Park to the Greater Cheyenne Greenway .
“ It ’ s sort of the big draw , the big greenspace in the heart of the community ,” said Jeff Wiggins , senior planner for the City of Cheyenne Parks and Recreation Department , referring to Holliday Park . “ We have a quarter to a third of our population working in the downtown area , and the park is a gathering point for the entire community – so it was an important destination for us to be able to get to with our greenway system .”
Cheyenne ’ s greenway system weaves its way throughout the City . Before the underpass ’ installation , though , trail users looking to enter the park were stopped in their tracks when they came to Lincolnway , said Darci Hendon , a design engineer in Ayres
Associates ’ Cheyenne office , noting that an estimated 27,000 vehicles travel along this section of the highway .
“ The Greenway just stopped on the south side of Lincolnway , and then all of the sudden you got on a regular 3-foot sidewalk and had to go to the light and push the button and wait to go across the highway to get into the park ,” Hendon said .
“ It was inaccessible , and it felt like it was orphaned ,” Wiggins added .
Installing the underpass connected the Greenway system inside and outside of the park , making a complete trail and giving people a safer means of crossing the busy highway .
“ Getting people into the park is my first priority , and we did ,” Wiggins said . “ Before , you had parents of kids in strollers , folks on bike and foot , elderly , young , and everything in between , and they were sitting there going ‘ Geez , how do I get across here ? This is really nasty .’ It was a flat out dangerous place to try and cross the road , so this made an immense improvement .”
“ There ’ s a lot of traffic on Lincolnway , and they allowed us to shut the whole thing down so that we could put the underpass in all in one shot . Otherwise , it would ’ ve been a lot longer construction ,” said Hendon , mentioning that work on the major east-west downtown connector occurred from a Friday afternoon to early Monday morning to decrease impacts to the traveling public as much as possible .
Wiggins said he appreciated Hendon ’ s efforts during the construction phase , saying she was “ invaluable as a liaison .”
“ Darci , in particular , was the point person for all of that ,” he said . “ She was very thorough , very thoughtful , and made sure that things didn ’ t get swept under the rug . She brought issues that arose in the field immediately to us and consulted with us to find a reasonable solution .”
Many times , Wiggins said she ’ d come back with three or four possible solutions – within hours . “ She was a great ally and assisted us through this whole process ,” he said .
– Jennifer Schmidt