Carson City area facing monster road construction season

When state and city street construction projects overlap summer, driving through Carson City could be a commuter's nightmare.

Drivers will see torn-up roads and heavy equipment operating throughout the city, but city and state transportation agencies are coordinating between projects and planning night work to ease disruption, officials said Monday.

"From July through mid-October, people are going to need to plan their trips a little better," said city transportation manager John Flansberg.

Drivers are encouraged to allow more time to get to their destination and plan ahead to do several errands at one time, Flansberg said.

"It's going to be a little more crowded than they are normally used to," he said. "It's going to get worse before it gets better."

Three main routes from south to north will undergo major work, causing partial to full road closures during the same months that the region invites thousands of tourists and motorcyclists to pass through.

Beginning in June, the Nevada Department of Transportation will start four projects simultaneously, while a city project starting a month later will disable a local thoroughfare.

First, the state plans to resurface the entire roadway on Highway 395 from Hot Springs Road to Bowers Mansion Road. The $6 million project is expected to be complete by spring 2005.

Most of the work on Highway 395 will be done at night, said Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Magruder.

"A lot of paving will be done at night to cut down on inconvenience and delays," Magruder said.

A month later, Carson City will close Roop Street -the road locals use to avoid heavy traffic on Carson Street during rush hour - from Beverly Drive to Winnie Lane. Drivers will be forced onto Carson Street at or near Hot Springs Road.

The project also calls for closing Roop Street from East Robinson Street to U.S. Highway 50 East, diverting drivers to Stewart Street.

The state, however, is planning to resurface Stewart Street from South Carson Street to William Street from June to October.

The Roop Street project alone is expected to cause enough disruption to traffic, the state may consider asking state workers in Carson City to vary their working hours during the year-long project, city transportation officials said last week.

City and state project managers are working to make sure drivers who are rerouted from one street to another aren't bumping into others diverted from other projects. They are also working out times so the Stewart Street project and the Roop Street closures don't overlap, Flansberg said.

Another state project will resurface the roadway on Highway 50 East between North Carson Street and Flint Drive. The $3 million project will start in June and is expected to end in October.

The closures will come during Carson City's busiest tourist season, when local events are planned nearly every weekend and major events in Reno and South Lake Tahoe draw additional traffic through town.

Contact Jill Lufrano at or 881-1217.


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