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Clint Landon, left, points to a specific part of the map while asking questions of WYDOT Environmental Coordinator Nick Hines, far right, and WYDOT Assistant Right-Of-Way-Administrator Roy Weber during the WYDOT public meeting to discuss the proposed upgrade and realignment of a section of College Drive on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, at Laramie County Community College in south Cheyenne. Employees from several WYDOT departments were on hand to answer the public’s questions about the future of College Drive and had many maps and graphs on hand to help. Michael Cummo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – College Drive could be getting two additional lanes as early as 2025, according to a new proposal presented by the Wyoming Department of Transportation on Thursday night.

“I just wonder how much impact all this construction is going to have,” said Clint Landon, a retired veteran who owns a home in the proposed construction area.

The project would begin at the intersection of College Drive and South Greeley Highway and end at the intersection of College Drive and Fox Farm Road, where Landon lives. He came to the public comment meeting at Laramie County Community College to find out more.

“Me and the neighbors – we’re all concerned about the traffic. ... It’s hard enough getting out there when the trucks are lining up to go to the refinery,” he said.

Ryan Shields, a traffic engineer for WYDOT, said, it’s “hard to predict” traffic levels during a possible road expansion, but they’d do their best to mitigate disruptions.

The plan, which is still in the early stages, is to upgrade College Drive from two lanes to four and add either a center turn lane or a divided median. The proposal also calls for a realignment of the road, which would increase the parameters of the project from 2.4 miles to about 2.61 miles. The expansion and realignment is needed, Shields said, to accommodate the “potential for huge growth and development” in the area.

That growth is expected to come from a proposed mixed use development called Sweetgrass, which is located to the south of the current College Drive alignment. It is a 2,350 acre property which is projected to include 2,870 dwellings, as well as offices, businesses, medical facilities, schools and parks.

“We want to anticipate that and make sure the roads aren’t clogged up,” Shields said.

If approved, the project would get underway in 2025 and, adjusting for inflation, would cost an estimated $17 million, said Tim Morton, the district construction engineer for WYDOT. Most of that money would come from federal dollars appropriated by the Wyoming State Legislature.

The city, county and community college have also partnered to apply for a grant to build a pedestrian underpass on the road ahead of construction. That’s projected to cost about $1 million.

Morton said the construction plan presented Thursday night is purely “conceptual,” and transportation officials are still open to digesting public feedback.

Kathryn Palmer is the Wyoming Tribune

Eagle’s education reporter. She can be reached at kpalmer@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3167. Follow her on Twitter at @kathrynbpalmer.

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