Step out for the third annual freeway walk

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With four bridges completed, the Carson City freeway looks more and more like a reality than it has in its 30-year history.

Supervisor Robin Williamson is hosting Tuesday the third annual walk along the freeway corridor, a walk she and Muscle Powered, a local group promoting walking and biking, started in 2000 amid controversy over the future of freeway landscaping and a multi-purpose path.

Two years later, much of the controversy is gone. The freeway will have native vegetation along its slopes; its intersections will be landscaped with trees, boulders and wildflowers.

Freeway soundwalls will be taupe -- a color chosen through online and public meeting votes -- and will feature a mountain pattern for those looking to the west and a rolling hills pattern for those looking to the east. The designs mimic the views in either direction.

The walk along the freeway will give people a better chance to visualize all this change, Williamson said.

"Everything is getting more defined," she said. "It puts it in a person perspective, for me, of what it's really going to be like. It's an attempt to keep in the public awareness that progress and plans are being made."

Carson Freeway Manager Jim Gallegos will conduct the tour over the 3.8 mile course, which will take around an hour and a half. The tour starts at Ruby Lane and Arrowhead Drive, just off North Carson Street, where the first bridge over Arrowhead Drive has been constructed.

Arrowhead Drive was realigned under the bridge and includes two roundabouts -- added to slow traffic into the residential neighborhood. Members of Gardeners Reclaiming Our Waysides, a grassroots group that successfully lobbied for freeway landscaping, will be on hand to discuss the freeway landscaping plans.

The walk will continue to Northgate Lane, Emerson Drive and then to College Parkway, all of which have bridges over their respective roads.

Carson City transit buses will be available at the end of the walk to return people to their vehicles.

The bridges were constructed as part of the $15.6 million Phase 1A of the freeway. Contracts for Phase 1B, which will fill in the freeway between Lakeview Hill and Highway 50 East, are to be sought in December. Phase 1B is 95 percent designed and is estimated at $136 million.

Construction is expected to start on Phase 2 from Highway 50 East to the Spooner Summit Junction, in 2004 and wrap up between 2008 and 2010 and is estimated at $160 million.


What: Carson City freeway walk

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Ruby Lane and Arrowhead Drive off Highway 395 North


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