Sheckler, Hwy 50 remains top concern for county, NDOT | NevadaAppeal.com

Sheckler, Hwy 50 remains top concern for county, NDOT

Steve Ranson
Editor Emeritus

The Nevada Department of Transportation told the Churchill County Commission at its first July meeting on Thursday that the Sheckler Cutoff intersection with U.S. Highway 50 remains a top concern.

Dave Gaskins, NDOT deputy director, and Lee Bonner, a planner with the agency, updated the county on current and future projects within the county. The commission's two top concerns involve the intersection of Sheckler Cutoff and the Reno Highway, which has been the site of numerous crashes, and safety concerns at the intersection of U.S. Highway 95, Sheckler Road and Taylor Street.

Both NDOT and the county have been looking at solutions to mitigate accidents at Sheckler Cutoff.

"I don't know if a roundabout at Sheckler and 50 is feasible. We're also looking at a signal," Bonner said.

Both Bonner and Gaskin said the cost to build a roundabout may range between $3 million to $4 million with the county providing a share of the cost through matching funds.

Commissioner Bus Scharmann asked what the matching funding would be — 90 percent state, 10 percent county or 80:20. He said any 50:50 matching wouldn't happen because of the county's budget.

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Bonner also said talks began several years ago to look at a signal.

The county has also looked at a roundabout at U.S. Highway 95 and Sheckler Road.

"My concern is to get a roundabout out there," said Pete Olsen, the commission's chairman.

Bonner said NDOT's annual work program, though, calls for replacing the bridge at South Maine Street and Wildes Road, which would delay any planning of a roundabout at the U.S. Highway 95 intersection. The $1.5 million bridge replacement has already been approved. Other work programs include resurfacing U.S. Highway 50 from Alpine Road to the Churchill-Lander county line, $14.3 million; U.S. Highway 50 slope repair near Sand Mountain, $12 million; Maine Street streetscape (near the William N. Pennington Life Center), $833,000; U.S. Highway 50 Carson River bridge scour and rehabilitation, $600,000; and other smaller projects, $919,000.

Primary funding for the projects comes from the state highway fund or with federal funding provided for the bridge replacement and streetscape.

Scharmann questioned the work on U.S. Highway 65 miles east of Fallon because it wasn't a county priority.

"We need to rehabilitate this section of highway to keep the road safe," Bonner said.

Other concerns the county submitted to NDOT included the intersection of U.S. Highway 50 and Gummow Drive; lighting along U.S. 50 from Serpa Place to Churchill Village apartments and along Auction Road near housing and Western Nevada College; ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) facilities and sidewalks at the William N. Pennington Life Center; bike lane and sidewalks at Wade Lane along U.S. Highway 95; sharp 90-degree turns on State Route 116 on the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone tribal lands; passing lanes from Fallon to Schurz on U.S. Highway 95; and a bike lane on U.S. 50.

The county approved NDOT's 2018 annual work plan.

In other action

Approved $2,000 for community support funding for LEAD Green Leadership Summit on Aug. 3-4.

Renewal of annual membership with Western Nevada Development District for $6,250.

Approved advanced step placement for Priscilla Baker as a newly hired deputy district attorney.

Approved renewal of contract with Resource Concepts not to exceed $85,000.

Appointment of Ernie Schank to the TDR Sending Site review Committee.

Approved collective bargaining agreement between the county and the Churchill County Sheriff's Deputies Association and Sergeants Unit. Commissioners approved a 2 percent pay increase for fiscal year 2019 and increased training expenses. When employees are assigned as acting supervisors, they will receive a 5 percent pay increase. This also included detention supervisors.