Storey officials hoping for June reopening of Six Mile

Six Mile Canyon Road, closed since New Year's Eve due to heavy damage from flooding, may be reborn this spring.

Construction on the road could begin in mid-May, with completion sometime in June if the state approves the county's request for disaster relief funds, said Pat Whitten, Storey County administration and budget director.

"We're still collecting the data that goes with the application," he said.

Whitten said the disaster fund application would be completed next week and sent to the state Division of Emergency Management, whose director, Frank Siracusa, has said it looks like the county meets the criteria for assistance.

If the emergency division approves the aid, the application then goes to the state Board of Examiners, made up of the governor, the secretary of state and the attorney general. If the Board of Examiners approves, the application would then go to the state Senate Interim Finance Committee.

Seven contractors have submitted bids of between $330,000 and $550,000 to fix the road. Whitten said the county is looking closely at two of the bids to see if they meet state conditions.

Six Mile Canyon Road has become an important shortcut for Dayton residents who are going to Reno. It also connects the Mark Twain Estates, in Storey County but near Dayton, with Virginia City.

The road has been estimated by Storey County officials to carry 2,500 cars a day and is considered a major rural collector road by federal authorities. That designation makes it eligible for federal highway funds, but there are no more available for this year.

State disaster relief funds would be repaid when and if Storey County obtained the federal money.

Storey County Public Works Director Richard Bacus said funds from the state or the federal government were essential to reopen the road.

"If (Gov. Kenny) Guinn doesn't give us any or the Federal Highway Department doesn't give us any, it probably won't be opened up," he said, adding that motorists who want to see the road opened soon should contact their representatives or the governor's office.

In the meantime, Whitten said he would not be averse to any donated funds, labor or materials.

"We have had an offer from one person," he said. "We aren't willing to look a gift horse in the mouth. We wouldn't refuse it. No one has come forward to donate materials or labor, but if they're out there, my number is 847-1968."

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.


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