Streets near Carson Middle School and Bordewich Bray Elementary will be safer in the future as Carson City implements a safety improvement plan boosted by federal funding.
The $1.25 million project is known as the West Carson Vulnerable User Pedestrian Safety Improvement Project and includes improvements to Musser, Telegraph, Thompson and West Fifth streets. The project stems from the Carson City Safe Routes to School Master Plan.
On Jan. 11, the Carson City Regional Transportation Commission approved an agreement to use $1 million in federal funding for the project as administered by the Nevada Department of Transportation. The funds were earmarked for the city in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 as part of congressionally-directed spending. A 5 percent local match is required. An additional $250,000 will come from regional transportation funds and will be used for the local match and for remaining costs beyond the federal award.
“The scope of work for this project would include improvements to sidewalk gap closures, bicycle enhancements, ADA-compliant infrastructure and intersection enhancements,” states a staff report. “Additional signage or flashing beacons, curb bulb-out ramps, additional crosswalks, and raised pedestrian crossings are examples of intersection enhancements. Along with pedestrian and bicycle improvements, roadway improvements will include (road) preservation treatment.”
RTC member Gregory Novak asked staff about construction impacts in what is a historic area. Transportation Manager Chris Martinovich replied that federally-funded projects must follow all guidelines, including considerations of historical properties. Martinovich didn’t foresee issues because construction will involve “flat work” along streets, not affecting vertical structures.
Construction is expected to begin in spring 2024.
In other action:
• RTC members approved a $1.4 million contract for infrastructure improvements on Roop Street between Fifth Street and Musser Street.
The contract was awarded to ARMAC Construction of Mound House for a not-to-exceed amount of $1,404,836.68. That amount includes a base bid of approximately $1.28 million and a 10-percent contingency amount of $127,712.
The project will include “concrete sidewalk and curb ramp upgrades, utility improvements, and pavement reconstruction,” according to a staff report.
“This section of road serves approximately 7,400 vehicles per day and is in very poor condition (Pavement Condition Index less than 40),” says the report.
Scores on the PCI below 50 indicate roads are in poor condition.
Bryan Byrne, city traffic engineer, told RTC members the contractor will perform traffic control and may use Little Lane as a detour.
Carson City Mayor Lori Bagwell, who chairs the RTC, said choosing a contractor is not just based on the lowest bid, but a “responsive” bid from someone experienced.
“Having a project come to its completion is the objective,” she said.
Martinovich later told the Appeal construction is likely to begin in late spring, given the weather.
“Once the work begins, it’s anticipated to take about four months to complete the project,” he said.
• RTC members approved a contract for Parametrix Inc., not to exceed $365,088, to help develop a Safe Routes to School Master Plan in Douglas County.
The project will emphasize safety issues for students when walking and biking to school. It will include recommended projects within a 2-mile radius for each of the 11 schools in Douglas County, according to a staff report.
Bagwell said it’s unique for the RTC to handle a Douglas County contract but pointed to an interlocal agreement between Carson and its southern neighbor.
That agreement was approved in October and requires Douglas reimburse the RTC up to $20,000 as part of a local match. Ninety-five percent of costs are covered by a cooperative federal grant administered by NDOT.
“I love this,” said Carson City Supervisor Lisa Schuette, who sits on the RTC. “This is cooperation at its best.”
The project is part of the Western Nevada Safe Routes to School Program, which is funded by the federal Transportation Alternatives program.
“The WN-SRTS Program is operated and managed by Carson City Public Works and provides guidance and services to schools in Carson City and Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties through a cooperative agreement with NDOT,” Martinovich told the Appeal. “The program aims to achieve a variety of objectives by creating safe, convenient and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to and from schools. The WN-SRTS Program aims to reverse the decline in children walking and bicycling to schools. In turn, this can increase students’ safety during the school commute and reduce traffic congestion around schools.”