An eyesore into a focal point

Tom Milstead/Torrington Telegram Once considered an eyesore in a highly-visible part of town, several City of Torrington departments have worked together to turn this area off the overpass into something more than a patch of weeds.

TORRINGTON – An area by the overpass that had become overgrown in the years since the bridge’s construction has been rejuvenated through a team effort by several City of Torrington departments and will soon stand as a welcome to people entering the city. 

The area is directly east of the Maverik Station, inside the looping portion of the overpass on the north side of the road. According to city building official Dennis Estes, the area had become an eyesore since the bridge was built. 

“This area here was always weedy and an eye sore,” Estes said. “We got tired of looking at it. Mayor Randy Adams asked if we could do something with it, and we wanted to, anyway.”

The area fell into disrepair over the years. According to Estes, the State of Wyoming has yet to release the overpass to the City of Torrington. There are some maintenance agreements, he said, but the particular swatch of empty space – in a high-visibility area – had been neglected. 

Estes, along with the Torrington Water Department, Streets Department and Parks and Recreation Department, worked to mow the area, install a sprinkler system, plant trees and the crew hopes to eventually re-plant grass in the area. 

“We went ahead and mowed everything down and put a sprinkler system in around it,” Estes said. “It has irrigation in here now. We used some chemical to kill all of the weeds in there, and when that chemical gets dispersed, we’re going to re-plant it with some grass. 

“We want to put a lot more trees in there and make it a lot more attractive and appealing to people coming into town.”

The original plan for the area was to be more of an art installation that looked like a river, and was supposed to feature pheasant flying out of cattails. 

“That never materialized,” Estes said. “Maybe we’ll get to that point and make it a lot more attractive.”

Estes said he has high hopes for the area, including an electronic welcome sign, more trees and finally installing the steel pheasant sculptures to their intended home. Whether people enter Torrington from the overpass or on US 26, chances are they will pass the now-rejuvenated area at some point. The intersections by the overpass are the busiest in town, Estes said, so it’s important to make the area into something nice instead of an eyesore. 

“It’s kind of the focal point of the town,” Estes said. “Everybody comes in, and we’re hitting two highways here. I want to make this a lot more attractive.”

Mayor Adams recognized Estes and the other city workers who have taken on the project during a Torrington City Council meeting in August. 

“For a long time, all you could see out there was weeds,” he told the assembly. “Some of the staff have taken it upon themselves to take that over, and it’s already better than it was just a few months ago, or anytime in the last eight years. I really appreciate that.”

Adams said the city workers have worked as a team to beautify the area, and that he’s looking forward to seeing the completed project. 

“All of them are working to get that done,” Adams said. “It should look a whole lot better towards the end of September. I’m tickled with it.”

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