Roop project needed, but not at price

It's a disappointing reality that we can't always afford what we want - especially when the price tag far exceeds our budget.

Such is the case with Carson City's plan to widen Roop Street, a much-needed project to open one of the traffic arteries through town.

When bids came in at $7.5 million or more - a third above the expected cost of $5 million - it threw a wet blanket on construction plans for this summer.

The general consensus seems to be to postpone the project until it's more affordable (although there are plenty of different views, as is evident below).

Let's look at the bright side for a moment.

With state highway projects planned for Stewart Street and highways 395 and 50, Carson City was going to be one long orange-cone zone this summer. So the delay in widening Roop Street will give motorists a bit of a breather.

With bids coming in so high, it means road-building companies are busy in Northern Nevada. They don't necessarily need the work, and chances are good the bids will come down when the city tries again.

And the city definitely needs to try again.

Despite the long-awaited work on Carson's bypass, the city still needs to work on many routes through town. Roop will remain at the top of the list.

A number of options have been cussed and discussed, such as making Roop and Stewart one-way streets, but the best plan is the one being pursued now - widening it to four and five lanes. The traffic isn't going away, even with the bypass.

The Regional Transportation Commission doesn't have a lot of money for big projects. Extending Stewart Street to the north is another one that will be expensive and do much to relieve downtown congestion.

Even with the heavy construction schedule this summer, it's unfortunate the work on Roop will be delayed. The sooner the better - but not at $7.5 million.


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