From left, Summit Engineering Project Engineer Darci Hendon, Greenway Park Planner Richard Zita, City Councilman Pete Laybourn, Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr and Cheyenne Planning and Development Director Charles Bloom throw dirt during the groundbreaking for a new greenway connector that will link greenways on Storey Boulevard and Gardenia Drive on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in north Cheyenne. Michael Cummo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – Cheyenne’s 39-mile greenway system will extend even farther with a new 1,000-foot connector on Powderhouse Road.

With gold shovels in hand, city officials and staff broke ground on the approximately $300,000 project Tuesday.

“This is going to be a really exciting extension of our greenway system,” Mayor Marian Orr said. “It’s going to make for safe transportation along what we know to be a really, really busy road.”

The connector will link existing greenway sections on Storey Boulevard and Gardenia Drive, as well as provide a safe walking path for those who live at The Pointe. The project will be paid for with sixth-penny sales tax funds and is set for completion before winter.

At the groundbreaking, Orr also proclaimed October as Community Planning Month for the city of Cheyenne, highlighting the positive impact of planning projects like the Greater Cheyenne Greenway. This year’s theme, “Planning for Infrastructure That Benefits All,” focuses on plans that strengthen communities, boost the economy and promote equitable development.

“Community planning provides an opportunity for all residents to be meaningfully involved in making choices that determine their future and future community,” Orr said.

In 2016, Cheyenne residents helped the city prioritize greenway segments through outreach, workshops and community surveys.

The Powderhouse segment is the first project to be completed from the citizen-decided priority list, and Greenway Coordinator Richard Zita said they hope to have three more completed from the list next summer.

“We’re trying to fill in the gaps in the system,” Zita said.

The Greater Cheyenne Greenway runs throughout the city, providing a safer mechanism for non-motor transit. Each added connector makes the trail more accessible for people biking and walking.

Ward 1 Councilman Pete Laybourn was one of the greenway’s original advocates back in the 1990s.

“This is really going to be wonderful for the people who live here,” Laybourn said at the groundbreaking.

The greenway connector lands in the district of state Rep. Sue Wilson, R-Cheyenne. Wilson said that area of town has been growing in recent years with the development at The Pointe. She said the connector will be beneficial since The Pointe is “such a walkable area.”

“The more connections, the better,” she said.

Margaret Austin is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s local government reporter. She can be reached at maustin@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3152. Follow her on Twitter @MargaretMAustin.

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