Highway 50 will be open Monday as promised after a 2½-month closure as the road is widened to five lanes.

The opening Monday coincides with the first day of school, which is important because the detour route took drivers past Pronghorn Elementary School on Oakcrest Drive.

Josh Jundt, resident engineer with the Wyoming Department of Transportation, said the road was shut down to make construction go as quickly as possible, with that Aug. 19 first day of school always in mind.

“We just want to make sure we’re open prior to that date,” he said, adding that the road might open Sunday.

Drivers using Highway 50 still can expect construction on the stretch of road before paving is completed for the year, which will mean traffic control or even a pilot car as work continues, Jundt said.

Travelers will experience two-way, head-to-head traffic with flagging operations and delays.

WYDOT encourages local traffic to consider an alternate route to avoid the delays if time is a factor and highly encourages truck traffic to consider alternate routes.

Much of the project will be completed this year, but the actual completion date is June 30, 2020, he said. Another layer of paving and reclamation likely will be done next year.

“We’re hoping to get as much done this fall as possible,” he said.

Once it’s finished, the section of Highway 50 will have two travel lanes in both directions and a continuous center turn lane. New curb and gutter, storm drains, fence, sidewalk, lighting and traffic signals also will be upgraded and added.

In addition, a 10 foot multi-use path will be installed on the east side of the road to provide continuity with the path located north of the project and a 5-foot sidewalk on the west side.

The traffic signal at Force Road, which was installed as a temporary measure several years ago, will be replaced.

The road initially closed over the Memorial Day weekend and had been impacted, like all construction projects, by the unseasonably wet spring and summer, Jundt said.

Simon Contractors is in charge of the project.

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