The City of Laramie and the Wyoming Department of Transportation are currently planning the expansion of Bill Nye Street in 2021.

When Laramie High School was built the City of Laramie did not expect the amount of expansion that would come along with it. As more families moved into town, and the University of Wyoming also grew, the city has had to build more neighborhoods. The “Turner Track” area has been the perfect spot to grow.

“The area that the high school was built on is called the Tuner Track area, and there is also the development of the surrounding neighborhoods,” Eric Jaap said.

Eric is the City Engineer for Laramie. He has a say in how expansion occurs in the city.

With the areas around the high school growing and more houses and housing complexes being put up daily, the amount of traffic that comes out of the high school and the neighborhood continues to increase. The city knew Bill Nye was going to need to be expanded.  

“Even if the high school wasn’t built where it is and the development of the area and a need for another emergency entrance to the houses, but it is also another East West connection on the southern part of town,” Jaap said.

Although the City of Laramie will be the one planning and doing most of the construction, the Bill Nye expansion project is considered a WYDOT project. The project is being organized through the Urban Systems Advisory committee which transferred about half a million dollars of federal funding to WYDOT. Each year a  group of university, city, and WYDOT leaders chooses a street that needs to be renovated and this year Bill Nye was selected. The first phase of the project from Vista to Boulder was already completed when the high school was built.

“The hardest part of this whole project was the land negotiation and trying to get land permission from the Linford family mansion and all of the property around,” Jaap said.

The next phase of the project will connect Boulder to 15th Street and then it will bring a connection to Hill. Although the state is getting the funding for this project, it is still in the very early planning and design stage.

“One of the other very challenging parts of this whole project, including the design phase, is that it is a multimillion dollar project and the state only gets half a million dollars a year from the federal funds which means that the whole street and project will be completed in the years of 2021-2023,” Jaap said.

WYDOT will do all the bidding for the actual construction and construction management, but once it is constructed it will become a city road. Laramie will finalize it, putting in the sewers, the street signs, and all of the finishing touches it needs to become a functioning road.