Deal with state could trim $5 million from Carson’s bypass tab
March 10, 2009
Carson City could try to reduce and delay a $15 million payment it owes the state for work on the U.S 395 bypass.
Under an amended agreement, the Nevada Department of Transportation could drop the payment from $15 million to $10 million and wait to collect the money until it finishes the bypass, said Patrick Pittenger, city transportation manager.
Carson would take over maintenance of several state roads in exchange, he said. Roads could include parts of College Parkway, Airport Road and Highway 50.
The $15 million is due by July 1 under an agreement between the city and the state. The city is raising money through a 5-cent gas tax.
Pittenger will talk about the possible amendment to the agreement at the Carson City Regional Transportation Commission meeting Wednesday.
Work on the city bypass started in 2006. The state is scheduled to finish the $45 million leg from Highway 50 East to Fairview Drive this summer.
The final phase connecting the bypass with Highway 50 West at the base of Spooner Summit leading to Lake Tahoe has been delayed indefinitely because of a lack of state funds. It was estimated to cost $140 million to $190 million.
This unexpected delay has cost the city, Pittenger said.
A Fairview Drive upgrade cost about $5 million instead of an expected $3.5 million.
The city had to expand its plans for the amount of traffic the road could handle after the state announced the project delay.
The city not only had to widen Fairview Drive from two to four lanes as planned, but also had to reconstruct the pavement and add two new turn lanes.
“It’s going to be a state highway,” Pittenger said.
If the city and the state reach an agreement, it could be modeled after a January 2008 deal.
The state agreed to reduce the city’s first payment for bypass work from $19 million to $14.2 million in exchange for the city taking over and maintaining some state roads in the city.
Carson likely will get help soon to at least improve its public transportation.
Keith Pearson, city transit coordinator, said in a report that the Carson City area is expected to get about $1.1 million from the federal stimulus package. The city will likely get about $950,000 of that to improve its Jump Around Carson bus service.
But the state transportation department will decide if the city will get any of the $9.3 million requested for city road improvements from the stimulus.
The state department has not said how it will distribute the stimulus money among city and county projects or money it received for state projects.
Scott Magruder, a department representative, said Director Susan Martinovich will announce more stimulus spending details this afternoon.
– Contact reporter Dave Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.een city, state
WHAT: Carson City Regional Transportation Commission meeting
WHEN: Wednesday after the end of the 5:30 p.m. Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
WHERE: Sierra Room, Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.