About 130 people attended a public meeting Wednesday about reconstructing parts of Kingsbury Grade, an approximately $15 million road project expected to cause delays on the busy route between Tahoe and the Carson Valley starting in May.
The state hosted two meetings this week to seek input, inform the public on plan details and provide a chance for people to ask questions about the project. The first meeting was held Wednesday at the Ridge Tahoe in Stateline. The second occurred Thursday night at Douglas High School in Minden.
Many people at Wednesday’s meeting were Stateline residents who live along, or near, the 4-mile section of State Route 207 to be affected by construction. Some just wanted to get more details on the project, while others expressed frustrations over the plan.
Marc Drabant, who lives near Tramway Drive, said his 14.5-mile work commute to Minden will increase to 39 miles when the Nevada Department of Transportation temporarily closes Kingsbury at the summit.
“It’s frustrating to me because you guys have the stopping point 500 feet past where I can be driving,” he told NDOT employees, adding that he’s concerned about cars being vandalized at the bottom of Kingsbury, where people will leave them to take the bus up.
On Thursday, NDOT spokesperson Meg Ragonese said the agency understands that types of road construction have impacts on commuters, and the agency has worked with several businesses and organizations to discuss traffic control and fine-tune the current construction plan.
Additionally, the project used the construction manager at-risk contracting method, which procures a contractor early in the project’s design and, essentially, allows for more collaboration and efficiencies to be found, she added. Ultimately, NDOT’s goal is to complete the project as quickly as possible.
“We know the impact it will have and we’ll do whatever we can to mitigate them,” Ragonese said, adding. “Throughout the project we will be doing all we can to make the construction as smooth and safe as possible.”
The pavement reconstruction project aims to make drainage, curb and gutter, safety, sidewalk, lighting and other improvements on a section of the grade from the Highway 50 intersection at Stateline to just past Daggett Pass.
Under the year to year-and-a-half construction schedule, State Route 207 will be closed at the pass just east of Tramway during the few weeks before Memorial Day and after Labor Day. Only buses and emergency traffic will be allowed past the barrier.
During this time period, construction will take place 24/7. Motorists will be able to drive up Kingsbury — until they reach the closure point — and access homes and businesses from Highway 50. However, NDOT says delays could last up to 30 minutes.
The construction schedule will change between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when work will only be conducted at night with no road closure. Both lanes will be open during the day on this schedule, and one lane of alternating traffic will occur at night.
Work is expected to begin May 1, with other minor roadwork taking place in April if weather permits. No construction will take place in the winter, and work is expected to be complete by July 4, 2015.
At the meetings, people were able to comments in a variety of ways, including oral and written statements.
The public period will remain open until April 4, and anyone wishing to submit a comment can do so by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailing them to Nevada Department of Transportation, Pedro Rodriguez, project manager, 1263 S. Stewart St., Carson City, NV 89712.
For more information, visit www.kingsburyproject.com or call 1-844-888-ROAD.