Waiting in traffic for Carson's bypass

Some may say it's ironic the governor and Transportation Department officials were talking about the Carson City freeway and, not much later, a semi-trailer truck overturned and backed up traffic halfway through town.

We'd say it was inevitable.

Because there's been a lot of talk over the years about bypassing Carson Street with a highway, and not many days go by without some kind of accident -- some serious, some like Tuesday evening's which did not cause life-threatening injuries -- along South Carson Street. Coincidence? Not really.

Still, it was somewhat comforting to hear Gov. Kenny Guinn pledge in his State of the State address on Monday that he would "finish construction on the Carson City Bypass."

The feeling didn't last long, though, as Transportation Director Tom Stephens soon confirmed the money Guinn was talking about really only applies to the northern half of the bypass.

Half a bypass is better than none, we suppose.

But as the Tuesday moving-van accident at the southern intersection of Highways 395 and 50 reminded Carson motorists, it's the southern half of the bypass that will make a difference.

Traffic was tied up for two hours on Carson Street from the accident scene into the middle of town. Drivers trying to find some other route then backed up Roop and Curry streets. It was possible to get to a destination on the south end of Carson, but it was a test of patience.

Guinn also noted $525 million in transportation bond sales over the next two years will allow the state to complete the freeway known as Interstate 580 from Reno to Carson City -- a nine-bridge engineering marvel along the foothills of the Sierra Nevada that is not on Carson City's priority list, although it has its supporters and has been on the drawing boards as long as Carson City's portion of the freeway.

We'd still prefer the southern half of the Carson City bypass take priority over I-580. But that's just us, sitting in traffic.


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