Bypass project won’t be finished this budget cycle |

Bypass project won’t be finished this budget cycle

Staff reports

Despite what Carson City residents thought they heard the governor say Monday night, state transportation officials said Tuesday he did not commit the state to complete the Carson bypass project in this budget cycle.

Tom Stephens, head of the Nevada Department of Transportation, said after the State of the State address that the governor included in the speech a commitment to complete the section of the bypass between Arrowhead Drive at the north end of town and Highway 50.

“That doesn’t include south of 50,” he said.

Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Magruder confirmed that Tuesday, saying, “It’s status quo — nothing has changed.”

Guinn said in his State of the State address he was asking the state Transportation Board to approve a total of $524 million in bonding authority to “jump start” highway projects, including widening of Highway 95 in Las Vegas, the Henderson Spaghetti Bowl, “and finish construction on the Carson City Bypass.”

That drew applause from Carson City residents in the Assembly chambers.

Stephens said after the speech that the governor was reaffirming his commitment to complete the portion of the bypass to Highway 50, not that he was committing money to build the southern half in this budget cycle.

Magruder said work on the northern half of the bypass is on hold because of a condemnation battle with the Lompa family, whose ranch sits in the path of the proposed bypass south of Highway 50. That battle is in court.

“The project is on hold,” he said. “Nothing is happening until we get that property.”

He said the Department of Transportation needs the Lompa Ranch property to complete the overpass crossing Highway 50 and provide drainage for the roadway.