Completed in 2016, the landscaping and fence enhancements along Cheyenne’s West Lincolnway entryway create a stunning “welcome mat” for motorists entering the city.
What you may not know is that plans for this project began all the way back in 2004… and there’s still more to come!
Join us as we take a blast to the past, following this project from its initial plans to its current phase, then look toward the future to see what’s next.
2004: As the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) began scheduling the reconstruction of West Lincolnway between I-80 and Westland Road for Fiscal Year (FY) 2004, the Cheyenne Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) began the planning for enhancements and landscaping along the corridor.
To kick off the planning, MPO reached out to Dave Ohde and Associates, who prepared the West Lincolnway Landscaping and Streetscaping Plan—a 35% design plan for landscaping, streetscaping and sidewalk on the north side of Lincolnway between I-80 and Westland Road.
After viewing the plan, Cheyenne citizens and members of the business community suggested that we add landscaped medians into the design. We thought that was a wonderful idea; this is a great example of why we value gathering public input!
It was thanks to this very input, in fact, that the plan was modified to include development of raised, landscaped and lighted medians, accented by architectural features that evoked Cheyenne’s railroad history.
2009: Five years after the initial West Lincolnway reconstruction plan was created, funds became available to WYDOT—via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—for the actual construction to begin.
Thanks once again to the persistence of Cheyenne citizens, local businesses and LEADS, Cheyenne’s economic development agency, the MPO began to budget additional funds to design the West Lincolnway “gateway” enhancements for the south side of the plan, as well as finalize the landscape/streetscape details for areas on the north side where nearby businesses were willing to participate.
2012: Three years later, with budgeted funds in hand, the MPO requested bids to design a fence and create landscaping for the south side of the corridor from I-80 to the BNSF Railway overpass east of Westland Road.
After all bids were received, a selection committee chose Greenscape Design, LLC. (Located just down the road in Fort Collins, CO.)
The planning project took the better part of a year to complete. MPO made the most of those busy 12 months by holding regular coordination meetings with a steering committee (consisting of railroad executives, WYDOT personnel, city engineering, local civic boosters and businesses along the corridor), as well hosting a public open house to receive citizen input on the plan.
2013: In February, Greenscape Design, LLC completed the south side landscape plan. After approval, it was handed over to the City Engineering department to go out to bid for construction.
That same winter, WYDOT committed to providing $190,000.
2014: Here’s where all the hard work of the past decade (time sure flies when you’re reading!) was finally brought to life.
The first phase of the West Lincolnway enhancement project was built in front of Tyrrell Chevrolet, resulting in a robust landscape of trees, shrubs, boulders and turf, and complete with irrigation and a meandering sidewalk. Local match funds were provided by Tyrrell Chevrolet.
2015: In August, Phase Two plans and bid documents were completed to begin the enhancements and create the landscaping for the area (between the south side curb of the highway to the Union Pacific property line) from the BNSF Railroad overpass by Westland Road to the main entrance to Little America by I-80.
The first bid on the project was twice the cost estimate and available funding from WYDOT. All bids were unfortunately rejected, so it was back to the drawing board for a redesign to lower costs.
2016: With the project redesign completed, a rebid was able to take place in March. In addition, WYDOT made available more federal funds for a grand total of $400,000 to go toward the project.
Construction began in the summer, resulting in the installation and placement of a three-rail wood fence feature (that goes from the BNSF Railway overpass to just in front of Little America) and a four-column fence between Westland Road and Southwest Drive. The fence feature has sturdy cross fencing, accented by black, powder-coated truss brackets that connect the columns. In addition to the fence feature and fence, the completed project in this area includes irrigation, berms and a hearty fescue ground cover along two-thirds of the total project length.
2017 – ? It is the hope of the MPO that more funds can be obtained to eventually complete the entire enhancement and landscaping plan. The work completed in 2016 is a good start to improving and beautifying the western entryway into the City of Cheyenne, and we can’t wait to see the plan through to completion.