Roop Street widening still looks better than other expansion projects

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Carson City transportation officials are still recommending a widening of Roop Street over an extension of Stewart Street.

New estimates of land costs for a proposed Stewart Street extension would cost around $1.9 million -- around $600,000 higher than the previous estimate for property between John and Moody streets. Transportation commissioners in May asked their staff to take a more detailed look at property costs before they made a decision regarding which project to pursue to help relieve congestion on Carson and Roop streets.

Four months of discussions on whether to expand a congested Roop Street, extend Stewart Street or turn both streets into one-way couplets -- a request of Roop Street residents opposed to a potential four-lane expansion of their street -- led Carson transportation commissioners to take a closer look at Stewart. Supervisor Richard Staub, who serves on the RTC, asked in May for transportation planners to get a more detailed estimate of land costs saying the city may want to do both projects in the future. Commissioners set aside in May $4 million in their budget to complete one of the projects.

The RTC will host a public meeting from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to allow residents to look over the proposed Stewart project. Commissioners will consider Wednesday options still including one-way couplets on Roop and Stewart, as well as phased approaches to reconstructing Roop Street.

After months of review, Transportation Manager John Flansberg said an expansion of Roop Street to four lanes from Winnie Lane to Fifth Street still offers "the lowest cost and has the best benefits traffic wise."

Still estimated at $3.7 million, its costs include only $148,000 in right-of-way acquisitions and about $590,000 of the work would have to be done anyway in coming years for maintenance, curb, gutter and sidewalks. Flansberg said the Stewart Street extension has a similar benefit to Roop Street for relieving Carson Street traffic, but Stewart Street, which stretches from John Street to South Carson Street doesn't go anywhere and is estimated at $4.4 million. A proposed, new road that would connect Stewart to Roop across state property south of the Department of Motor Vehicles isn't supported by the state, who has plans for the property. The one-way couplets aren't supported by the Carson City Fire Department, which has a station on Stewart Street. All solutions continue to be a Band-aid to Carson's chronic congestion, a situation which can only be eased by the completion of the freeway.

Commission Chairman Jon Plank said the more planners look into the cost of the 3,350-foot Stewart extension, the "less economically feasible" it becomes.

"In the foreseeable future, we probably won't need (the property for the extension) at all," he said. "I think we've looked enough, quite frankly."

Commissioners also will decide Wednesday how they want to bond to pay for a Roop/Stewart corridor project as well as other transportation projects including an expansion of Fairview Drive.

If you go:

What: Roop Street/Stewart Street corridor project workshop

When: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday

Where: the Community Center Lobby, 851 E. William St.

What: Carson City Regional Transportation Commission meeting

When: 5:30 p.m., Wednesday

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


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