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Road sign of spring

As frost emerges from the ground and days grow both warmer and longer, the $12.3 million highway improvement project on the east side of Cody is scheduled to resume Monday. Some preliminary work was underway Wednesday. As frost emerges from the ground and days grow both warmer and longer, the $12.3 million highway improvement project on the east side of Cody is scheduled to resume Monday. Some preliminary work was underway Wednesday. Tribune photo by John Wetzel

Highway improvements resuming east of Cody; traffic delays expected

Spring is springing and with it comes the return of wildflowers, longer days and, in a less pleasant development, road construction.

Work is scheduled to resume Monday on the $12.3 million highway improvement project on Cody’s east edge, according to Wyoming Department of Transportation resident engineer Todd Frost in Cody. The longer, warmer days and the departure of frost from the ground is the primary reason for the St. Patrick’s Day launch of the project, he said.

“Weather permitting, rotomilling activities are scheduled to begin March 17 from Beacon Hill Road to West Cooper Lane,” Frost said. “The contractor will remove pavement from the north half of the roadway and pavement will be left on the south half with two-way traffic movements on the south half.”

Frost said the pavement is being removed so storm sewer can be placed through this area, and other dirt fill operations and pipe work are occurring throughout the project.

Citizens should continue to expect traffic delays of up to 10 minutes through the project. When working on the project, the contractor will be required to maintain two-way traffic throughout the project without delays — except for one flagger station — between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

“This commuting-time flagger station will stop traffic just long enough to allow ingress and egress for haul of contractor-furnished materials on and off the project,” Frost said. “The remainder of the time the cumulative delay of 10 minutes maximum will be allowed, and traffic will be led through the work zone with pilot vehicles.”

Other work includes an irrigation ditch crossing through U.S. 14A about 1,000 feet to the west of Beacon Hill Road.

“Half of the pipe will be installed while traffic is being carried on the other half of the roadway,” Frost said. “The contractor will also be working on other irrigation items throughout the project.”

The Sage Creek bridge subcontractor, CC&G, Inc. of Lander, is currently working on the north half of the new bridge. “Bridge piers are their current focus, and bridge abutment work is starting this week,” Frost said.

Traffic across Sage Creek bridge is being carried on the south half of the new bridge while the north half is being constructed. The speed limit across the new bridge is 35 mph, and a 12-foot width restriction is in place across the bridge and throughout the project.

About 3.5 miles of U.S. 14A is being widened to five lanes with a continuous turn lane and 8-foot shoulders. This project is the final section in a long-term series of projects to widen 24 miles of U.S. 14A between Cody and Powell.

Oftedal Construction, Inc., with offices in Miles City, Mont., and Casper, is the prime contractor of the Cody East highway improvement project.

The Wyoming Transportation Commission awarded the U.S. 14A project to Oftedal in May 2013.

Oftedal’s scope of work includes grading, draining, milling of existing asphalt pavement, placing pit run subbase and crushed gravel, asphalt paving and paving of asphalt wearing course, chip sealing, removal and replacement of the Sage Creek bridge, installing concrete pavement, installing roadway lighting and electrical work, and installing guardrail, fencing and other work on 3.45 miles of U.S. 14A and Wyoming 114 beginning at milepost 2.20 (West Cooper Lane) between Cody and Powell.

Weekly project update meetings open to the public are being held at 11 a.m. Tuesdays at the Wyoming Department of Transportation office in Cody.

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