The City of Casper Streets Division has announced that they will be closing a downtown portion of 2nd Street for close to a month, beginning October 4.

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Beginning on Monday, October 4 construction crews will begin repairing concrete curb lines and crosswalks, as well as milling and overlaying the street with new asphalt, according to a press release from the City of Casper.

"Parking lanes along 2nd Street will be closed, but sidewalks will remain open for pedestrian travel," the press release noted. "While concrete repair is taking place, crosswalks may be closed and pedestrians should cross 2nd Street at alternative locations. Center, Wolcott, and Durbin streets will remain open to through travel at 2nd Street."

Shad Rodgers, the Streets and Traffic Manager for the City of Casper said the work is scheduled to be completed by October 30, but could end sooner, depending on the elements. Crown Construction, who was awarded the project by the city, is contracted to work to the 30, however.

"Basically we just had a bunch of deteriorated concrete that we've been trying to get fixed over the last few years," Rodgers stated. "We had the opportunity to put a capital project together where we can not only fix some of the concrete intersections and crosswalk areas, but we can also come in and do some milling and overlaying over that serpentine area, just to get that downtown area spruced up a little bit."

Rodgers said city was originally scheduled to make these repairs earlier in the year, but chose to wait until after the summer season when foot and vehicle traffic would be a little less prominent.

"It's been in the works," he said. "We've done some periodic repairs where we can along that section of roadway, but it's a busy street and in the summertime there's a lot of tourists, so we were just trying to give downtown businesses as much time as possible to collect customers."

Despite waiting until the events of the summer had passed, Rodgers said he has gotten a little bit of pushback from downtown businesses.

"I've had a couple of phone calls," Rodgers revealed. "But, it was probably a month or two ago, we did try to hold a public meeting for all the business owners to attend and I think we only had one [business owner] show up. We did advertise the project as being open for comment, but we didn't get much feedback from that."

Rodgers said he understands the frustrations but noted that these are repairs that need to be completed, saying that they will contribute to an even more beautiful, prominent downtown.

"With any type of real construction, we're limited to our season as most everybody around here knows," Rodgers laughed. "But it should be a relatively quick project. The longest part is going to be just getting the concrete ripped out and poured and cured. Then, once we get to the paving part of it, that should go relatively quick, providing mother nature wants to work with us.

"Be patient with us. This is our last [project] of the year and we just wanted to make sure we get the downtown corridor taken care of this year."

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