Transportation heads review Phase 2 of bypass plan

Just as Phase 1 of the bypass gets going, the Nevada Department of Transportation is getting serious about how Phase 2 will look.

Design features of Phase 1, like the addition of a multi-use path, are still being hashed out. The city and state had a few misunderstandings in getting Phase 1 started, such as whether Arrowhead Drive will have an interchange. The state at one point thought ramps for the intersection were out of the plan while the city thought the ramps were in the plan.

To prevent confusion, Carson City supervisors will consider Thursday a resolution which lays out the major design elements of Phase 2.

"We want to avoid misunderstandings such as the Arrowhead ramps issue," Deputy City Manager Dan St. John said. "It caused a hiccup in the design, and that certainly affects the delivery schedule."

The freeway's second half will more than likely be broken into bridge and road construction, state spokesman Scott Magruder said. There have been so many changes to the conceptual design to the second leg, it's good to lay out the major design components "so there are no surprises," Magruder said.

The resolution defines the major design elements of the project which include:

- the interchange at Highway 50 East

- configuration of the grade separations at Fifth Street, Koontz Lane, Clearview Drive and Snyder Avenue

- no grade separations on Robinson and Colorado streets

- cul-de-sac on Colorado Street

- configuration of interchange at Fairview Drive

- scope of Fairview Drive improvements

- bike/pedestrian features

- landscaping

- interchange at Spooner Summit Junction, Highway 50 East and Highway 395 South

St. John noted that Phase 2 includes the idea of a multi-use path, something that is just being discussed for inclusion in Phase 1. The path in Phase 2 is included only as an alternative. Magruder said the fate of the path with Phase 2 will hinge on the state transportation board's decision on the path for Phase 1 in May.

He said it was premature to include funding for the multi-use path when funding for the actual freeway hasn't been identified. The five-mile stretch from Highway 50 East to the Spooner Summit Junction is estimated at $160 million, half of the cost probably funded with federal money, Magruder said. NDOT's goal is to start construction in 2004 or 2005 and end in 2007 or 2008.

Although the stretch of road hasn't been fully designed yet, its design elements have caused a stir.

The state in December changed the design of the freeway's southern interchange in December after the $5.8 million Serpa land decision in October valued land at the intersection around $22 a square foot. The department had only $6.2 million and the decision forced it to reconsider the interchange's design, changing it from a complex swirl of lanes weaving between Highway 395, Highway 50 and Carson Street into a slimmer single point urban interchange. The trimmed design put the intersection into existing right-of-way, and eliminated the controversial frontage roads that were to run along Carson Street.

If you go

What: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting

When: Thursday, 8:30 a.m.

Where: The Community Center's Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.


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