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SHERIDAN – Plans for the East Fifth Street Corridor are one step closer to fruition.
Last week, the Sheridan Planning Commission approved the comprehensive plan, which is a collaboration between the Wyoming Department of Transportation, Sheridan County and the city of Sheridan. The Board of County Commissioners will consider the East Fifth Street Corridor Plan at its regular meeting Tuesday. It will go before City Council March 18.
“We’re excited to be moving forward,” city Planning and Development Director Robert Briggs said.
Originally envisioned in November 2011, the East Fifth Street Corridor Plan encompasses three distinct districts — residential, railroad/historic and hospitality/employment — spanning two miles of Fifth Street from North Main Street to the junction with Wildcat Road east of Interstate 90.
The main goal of the plan is to make Fifth Street an attractive gateway to downtown Sheridan, Briggs said.
If the plan passes city and county approval, the goal will be accomplished over a span of one to 20 years.
Key elements of the plan include:
• Improved street design and traffic flow specific to each district. This may involve adding medians and turning lanes and widening streets. It may potentially involve increasing Sheridan’s trolley service.
• The addition of bike lanes and designated pedestrian walkways.
• Improved signage to direct traffic flow and highlight areas of significance such as the Bozeman Trail.
• Creating open spaces and attractions such as a sculpture park. This will include streetscape landscaping with trees, flowers and ornamental medians.
• Improving lighting and moving overhead utility lines underground.
• Industrial development in the interchange/hospitality/employment district.
• Amending the city’s R-3 Residential zoning district to permit mixed uses along the corridor. This will include low intensity development such as neighborhood shops and offices but will exclude high intensity uses like gas stations, convenience retail, theaters that are allowed in a B-1 Business district.
Since the plan is a collaboration between the city, county and state, it will be funded with a variety of grants, city, county and state funds. Briggs said East Fifth Street is not currently on the state’s improvement plan and is likely at least five years out, so smaller improvements such as signage, turn lanes, bike lanes and re-zoning will occur first with major construction to occur in the next five to 20 years.
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Hannah Sheely is the digital content editor at The Sheridan Press. She has lived in Colorado and Montana but loves her sunny home state of Wyoming best. She joined The Press staff in February 2013.