The first phase of a multi year $16 million renovation and expansion project at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens gets underway this week, according to Director Shane Smith.

That phase will consist or roadwork, including the re-routing of South Lions Park Drive from Carey to the gardens. Smith says South Lions Park will be moved southward and realigned so that it's safer and doesn't include such a sharp turn, adding '"you couldn't build a road that way today".

Smith says the road between the Botanic Gardens Parking lot and the Paul Smith Children's Village will eventually be shut down, also to improve safety. The road work is only the first phase of a project that will include large-scale changes and expansion and is expected to continue into 2016.

Smith says the plan is for the facility to remain open during the entire project, although he adds there may be traffic restrictions in effect at times. Laramie County voters approved allocating sixth-penny sales tax money to fund the project in 2012.