Plan gives $260M in highway funds yearly to Nevada

Nevada would get an average $260 million a year in federal highway funding under the proposed five-year highway-spending bill which passed the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said that is a significant increase over the $199 million a year Nevada received under the last highway bill.

"This bill will meet Nevada's most pressing transportation needs," Reid said.

"Our explosive growth has put pressure on our roads and highways and increased congestion," he added.

Nevada Department of Transportation Director Jeff Fontaine said he hopes the legislation will be finalized soon to enable NDOT to move forward with several vital projects.

That includes expansion of U.S. 95, Interstate15 in Southern Nevada and Interstate 80 and the souther leg of the Carson City freeway.

Reid said the legislation includes $46.5 million for the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, a key transportation and homeland security project for the Western corridor as well as funding to continue work on a high speed train line from Las Vegas to California. Reid has been an active proponent of the Magnetic Levitation, or Maglev, train which uses magnetic force to lift cars just above the tracks, allowing speeds of more than 300 mph.

The House of Representatives passed a separate version of the bill which is significantly different and provides less money to the states, including Nevada.

A conference committee will work out the final bill amounts.


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