NDOT issues $135 million in bonds for Carson bypass and the I-580

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

The Nevada Department of Transportation board of directors Tuesday approved issuance of $135 million in bonds to finish funding for three major projects, two of them in the Carson City area.

Deputy NDOT Director for Finance Robert Chisel told the board, headed by Gov. Jim Gibbons, the bonds will finish funding for the I-580 extension between Reno and Carson City, fund continued construction of the Carson bypass and the widening of U.S. 95 in the Las Vegas area.

Chisel said because of the depressed economy, the state was able to get the bonds at just under 4-percent interest.

Member Tom Fransway said he was very impressed with the low interest rate the state will have to pay.

He was joined by Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki who said the rate is much lower than the inflation rate for construction of highways, making it a very good deal for the state.

Chisel said since 2000, NDOT has issued a total of $886 million in bonds. He said this package will bring that total to $1.02 billion.

"This is the largest highway construction program in the state's history," he said.

The transportation board also received a report on projects funded by the 2007 Legislature. Four of the five on the drawing boards are in Southern Nevada.

But the board was told the plans do include widening of U.S. 395 in Reno from Moana Lane to the Spaghetti Bowl at an estimated cost of $70 million-$90 million. Construction is to be completed by 2011.

The majority of the money will go into projects to widen and improve I-15 through the Las Vegas metropolitan area. A $35 million project will add express lanes to I-15 from Sahara to the I-215 interchange. A $250 million project will widen the freeway to eight lanes beginning at Tropicana and $242 million will continue that from the Spaghetti Bowl to Craig Road.

The last project, widening State Route 160, was listed at up to $95 million. But that project has been put on hold as part of the state's budget reductions.

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

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