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EVANSVILLE, Wyo. — More than $3 million in improvements to Wyoming's Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery in Evansville are under way.

The work includes improved roadways, increased parking and interment options, according to a media release issued by the Wyoming Army National Guard.

"We look forward to completing this important work as we continue to honor those who have served our country and their eligible family members," cemetery Director Burt Widmer said. "We thank the public for their cooperation as we make these improvements."

Raising all headstones to ground level is the first project scheduled. Some headstones have sunk several inches over the past 27 years of interments, Widmer said.

Other projects include replacing the main irrigation lines and adding a new storage building, a new entrance gate, a columbarium (above-ground interment for cremated remains) and an information kiosk. The chapel will also receive new siding.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation will oversee the resurfacing of the cemetery road, interior roadways and the repair of the bridge over the North Platte River, said Larry Barttelbort, director of the Wyoming Veterans Commission.

Contractors will render honors when a veteran or family member's funeral is in process, said Barttelbort. Construction is being phased to minimize impacts to funeral services and is expected to be complete in 2014.

The improvements are funded through approximately $1 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and $2 million appropriated by the Wyoming Legislature. Previous improvements funded by the state include the expansion of the chapel, the rebuilding of the irrigation pump systems and the removal of underground fuel storage tanks.

For more information, contact the Wyoming Veterans Commission at 307-777-8152.

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