City could take over several state-controlled streets
August 6, 2007
Carson City could end up owning several byways now under the control of the Nevada Department of Transportation.
This arrangement would save the city $4.8 million, or the remainder of money owed for Phase 1 of the Carson City Freeway. Carson has paid nearly $14.2 million of its $19-million share for that section. Phase 1 began funneling traffic from Arrowhead Drive to Highway 50 East last year.
The Regional Transportation Commission will consider transferring ownership of the streets and bridges, most of which are in west Carson, during its meeting, 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Streets that would be in control of the city are Division, West Washington, West King, West Fifth from Division to Carson, and East Fifth from the roundabout to Carson River Road. Other byways the city would care for under this proposal: Ormsby Boulevard, Winnie Lane, and the Brunswick and Deer Run bridges.
“The state will still inspect the bridges, and we will still have access to federal bridge replacement dollars,” said Andy Burnham, the city’s public works director.
Both bridges are less than 10 years old.
The city now maintains 510 lane-miles of streets. It would cost an estimated $300,000 a year to maintain these additional streets, Burnham said.
This arrangement would lower the city’s total costs toward the freeway to roughly $45 million. Phase 2 is expected cost the city another $15 million and the rest of the money is being allocated toward related road and infrastructure work, such as the increase in the number of lanes on Fairview Drive, he said.
Also part of this agreement is that it defers payment by the city for its share of Phase 2 until 2009. The first payment was due in 2008.
While taking ownership of these streets won’t provide significant long-term cost savings, it will provide added flexibility in managing them.
“We’ll maintain the infrastructure related to these streets anyway,” Burnham said. “Having control of a whole street makes sense. It makes it easier to plan.”
A separate agreement with NDOT calls for the city to take control of Carson Street after the freeway is completed. The city plans to narrow the thoroughfare from four lanes to two lanes to make it easier for drivers to stop at destinations downtown.
After the commissioners approve it, the Board of Supervisors will consider the agreement during it meeting Aug. 16. The Nevada Department of Transportation Board would also have to approve the proposal and is scheduled to hear it next month.
The freeway is expected to be completed by 2011 and will tie Lakeview to Highway 50 at the base of Spooner Summit.
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.
If you go
WHAT: Carson City Regional Transportation Commission meeting
When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday
WHERE: Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.