Visitors will soon have better access to the Rockpile Museum after Campbell County Commissioners on Tuesday approved an agreement for a pedestrian activated crosswalk system that’s been in the works for more than two years. The new access across 2nd Street to the museum will give visitors and tourist safer and better access to the facility.
Commissioners were unanimous in giving a thumbs up to the agreement with HDR Engineering, Inc. of Gillette to perform the design and contract administration services for the project at a cost not to exceed $42,221.66.
The overall project will have a price tag of $185,500 which was budgeted by the commissioners. However, there will be some financial help as the county received some assistance with a Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) Transportation Alternatives Programs (TAP) Grant that was approved with an 80/20 county match.
“The installation of a pedestrian-activated crosswalk system and signage across 2nd street near the museum will provide increased safety for those crossing the street at that location,” Public Works Senior Engineer Clark Melinkovich said.
Melinkovich told commissioners the crosswalk would be much like the one installed near the Campbell County Public Library which provides pedestrians a much safer way to cross 4-J Road.
The crosswalk will include advanced solar-powered warning flashers, radio-connected flashing crossing signs and warning signs, a raised median, crosswalk, pedestrian ramps off the curb on both sides of 2nd Street and a pedestrian refuge in the center of the roadway for added safety.
The county owns a building and parking lot just south of 2nd street that will serve as overflow parking for larger events at the museum as well as provide tour buses a parking location. It is anticipated museum visitors will park there utilize the crosswalk when visiting the museum.
Rockpile Museum Director Robert Henning told commissioners the project will also help with every day parking.
“This will help us with large events and large vehicles. It will help staff to park elsewhere and allow all of our spots for visitors. We will be patient, even if it takes more time, you know three years in museum time is pretty short,” Henning said. “We are just excited about the updated safety and to make sure everyone can get to the museum without incident.”
The current timeline is to formalize a winter design with a spring 2022 construction start. A more specific timetable will be announced during the design phase. The physical part of the project is slated to take four weeks to complete.
TAP grants are federally funded, community-based projects that expand travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by integrating modes and improving the cultural, historic, and environmental aspects of our transportation infrastructure. Projects must be one of 10 eligible activities and must relate to surface transportation. Campbell County qualifies under “Pedestrian & Bicycle Facilities” which provides monies for sidewalks, walkways or curb ramps; bike lane striping, wide paved shoulders, bike parking and bus racks; traffic calming; off-road trails; bike and pedestrian bridges and underpasses; as well as be ADA compliance.