City councilors have taken the first step toward making multiple improvements along First Street in Casper.

The over $100,000 design and engineering contract that was unanimously approved by councilors on Tuesday acts as a catalyst for a long-term, $1.6 million improvement phase along the popular collector street that funnels traffic into downtown Casper.

Casper mayor Paul Meyer says the enhancements will include sidewalk intersection ramp work, the repair of multiple broken curb and gutter sections and the replacement of 4,000 feet of outdated water main.

“We have the small sewer mains and water mains (along that street),” Meyer said. “It all goes with improving the flow of water through our city – there’s still probably cast-iron pipes below the surface.”

The city also plans to replace obsolete manholes along first and will attempt to improve vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow near Willard Elementary School.

The city plans to fund the improvements through one-cent sales tax funds. Meyer says a hard timetable for the project has not yet been set.