Freeway art reflects 'History in Motion'

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Motorists traveling on the Carson City Freeway can now see a bit of the city's history reflected in steel cutout sculptures over bridges on Fairview Drive and East Fifth Street.

The Nevada Department of Transportation expects to have the artwork completely installed within two weeks.

Carson City's History in Motion is a plan to blend landscape, art and history into the interchanges and grade separations of the north leg of the freeway. Gardeners Reclaiming Our Waysides was heavily involved in the project.

The themed idea builds on NDOT's vision for the entire Highway 395 corridor, which is intended to celebrate Carson City's history. Designs are visible from both directions.

The cattle drive design over Fifth Street features steel or aluminum panels in the shapes of horses, riders and cattle, said NDOT spokesman Scott Magruder. Panels are attached to the existing pedestrian fencing and are life-sized.

Fairview Drive art will feature early settlers sharing pine nuts with Native Americans, he said.

"Three percent of the total budget for state highways goes to aesthetics. Federal enhancement dollars are earmarked to go to landscaping," Magruder said.

Carson City, meanwhile, is wrapping up final design details this winter for seven other locations along the freeway north of Fifth Street. Planners expect to go to bid sometime around spring, said Carson City Park Planner Vern Krahn. The themes are:

• Highway 50 interchange: V&T

• Carmine/Northridge grade separation: Stagecoaches

• College Parkway interchange: Comstock Lode

• Northgate/Emerson grade separation: Pony Express on south side, ranching on north side

• Arrowhead interchange: 1919 Transcontinental Motor Convoy

• North Carson interchange: Eagle Valley

Carson City received about $2.2 million for improvements to the freeway corridor with $1.7 million secured through federal funding. The city also received $500,000 through the Nevada Department of Transportation's Commu-nity Match Program for the project.


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