By Dave Frank
Appeal Staff Writer
Construction on a road that will cut down on drive time between Reno and towns east of Carson City is speeding up to meet demand, according to developers.
The privately-funded USA Parkway will connect Highway 50 East near Silver Springs to Interstate 80 east of Sparks when finished "in the next couple years or sooner," said developer Lance Gilman.
The 18-mile road runs through the 104,000 acre-Tahoe Reno Industrial Center and is being built by industrial park developers Gilman and Roger Norman.
It will save time on deliveries and commutes to the industrial park as well Reno, putting Silver Springs within a half an hour of Reno.
Four miles of the road have been finished and four miles have been graded.
USA Parkway was being built on to keep up with development, Gilman said, but large distributors like to build on land with a level surface, he said, and land farther south along the road like the flat surface there.
The industrial park already has major distributors including Wal-Mart and PetSmart and is trying to attract more with buildings between 600,000 square feet and 1,000,000 square feet, he said.
Other benefits such as less pollution and a much shorter driving time for industrial park employees in the Silver Springs area encouraged faster development, he said.
The road will also benefit rural towns farther east of Silver Springs such as Fernley by making them more accessible to Reno, said Northern Nevada Development Executive Director Ron Weisinger.
This will make it easier for these areas to get major companies, he said, because most of these businesses want to be within two hours of an international airport.
Both Southern and Northern Nevada truckers can cut down on their delivery times to Reno and the industrial park, too, he said.
Travis Covey, a dispatcher with Capurro Trucking in Sparks, said gas prices are a "big concern" and USA Parkway will help his business, which delivers throughout the state.
"If we can deliver faster and cheaper to a customer, it only amounts to more business for us," he said.
Housing and commercial development along Highway 50 East will also benefit from USA Parkway, said Lyon County Commissioner Larry McPherson, but not everyone in the area is excited about potential growth.
"I've heard a lot of people who want to keep it as rural as possible, that's a given," he said. "But let's face it, it's not going to stay that way."
• Contact reporter Dave Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.