Regional transportation commission wants Stewart extension

Carson City transportation officials want to see Stewart Street extended from Carson Street to Curry Street, but they may end up in a battle with the U.S. Forest Service in the process.

Carson's regional transportation commissioners decided Wednesday that despite written statements from the Forest Service requesting otherwise, it would be in the best interest of the city's transportation system to go ahead with plans to extend Stewart across Carson Street.

In a recent letter to the city, Forest Service officials offered a list of reasons ranging from the historic nature of the site to the size of the trees on their campus as to why the extension would not be good for the community. The letter encouraged the city to look for other options.

Transportation Commissioner Marv Teixeira asked city staff if the extension is necessary.

Much northbound traffic on Curry Street ends in a bottleneck at Tenth Street, and residents of the nearby Lake Glen Manor have requested a way to relieve congested traffic in their neighborhood.

The Stewart Street extension would offer northbound traffic an exit to Carson Street before traffic continued to Tenth or Fifth streets.

Street Operations Manager John Flansberg said for the cost of completing the Curry Street project, it would be worth it to put Stewart in as well.

"Can we press real hard and see how much the resistance (from the Forest Service) is before we make a decision?" Teixeira asked.

Commissioners forwarded their decision to the Board of Supervisors and the Nevada Department of Transportation to gain support for the extension.

"I can't believe the state wouldn't be with us on this one," Regional Transportation Commission Chairman Jon Plank said.

Commissioners agreed that the roughly $2 million Curry Street project, for now, remains a priority, even with the potential expansion of Carson Street from four to six lanes.

"We're going to have to figure out some west side arterial in this community," Commissioner Steve Reynolds.

The Stewart Street extension is being considered as part of a widening project on Curry Street. Plans call for Curry to be expanded to two travel lanes and a turn lane. The project is slated to be completed in 2003 or 2004.

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