Syncon Homes attempt to get interchange on Spooner dashed

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The Nevada Department of Transportation is advertising this week for bids on a project to move a runaway truck ramp four miles up Spooner Summit on Highway 50.

The decision means an interchange sought by developers of a 375-home project will receive no funding from the state.

A spokesman said Wednesday NDOT Director Jeff Fontaine was unable to reach an agreement with Syncon Homes, which wanted the interchange as access to its Clear Creek development project.

Jim Bauserman, representing Syncon, asked the NDOT board in January to put the $770,000 in the budget for the truck ramp project into an interchange and let the developer pay the balance. He said that would eliminate the safety hazard caused by having a runaway truck ramp right at the intersection serving his development and make access to the project much easier for residents.

But the board headed by Gov. Kenny Guinn agreed with NDOT officials the ramp project must be built this summer and gave Fontaine and Syncon until Jan. 28 to work out an agreement.

"Basically, NDOT was unable to execute a mutually acceptable agreement," said spokesman Scott Magruder. "So the department is proceeding to advertise the project to relocate the truck escape ramp along U.S. 50."

He said the project will be advertised this week and bids will be opened March 17, with construction as early as May.

"It's a safety project," said Magruder. "We need to move the escape ramp."

He pointed out the roadway from Syncon's project intersects Highway 50 right above the entrance to the escape ramp.

He said NDOT wants the ramp moved to a point above the intersection so the danger of a runaway truck hitting a car in that intersection is eliminated and wants the project done by this summer.

But Magruder said Fontaine didn't close the door entirely.

"He said they can always resubmit a proposal or come back at a later date and build an interchange there," Magruder said.

The Syncon Homes project consists of 220 one-acre lots and another 155 smaller lots as well as 18 timeshare or guest lodges along a private golf course. It is planned for 1,576 acres in Douglas County along Old Clear Creek Road just south of Highway 50 west of Carson City.

n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or at 687-8750.

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