Highway issue polarizes partners | NevadaAppeal.com

Highway issue polarizes partners

Gregory Crofton

A small army of officials from the Nevada Department of Transportation attended a Tahoe Regional Planning Agency meeting in Stateline Wednesday, with one of them butting heads with its executive director over highway rumble strips.

“We don’t have any idea if they’ll fall within the noise threshold or not,” said John Singlaub, TRPA executive director to Thor Dyson, NDOT district engineer. “We’re not asking for much. I’m sure those who live near rumble strips know how much noise is involved.”

The TRPA has asked NDOT to submit a noise study for a highway safety project between Spooner Summit and Stateline. The project has polarized, at least for now, the two agencies.

The project involves about two miles of rumble strip from Spooner Summit to Glenbrook, and about three miles of guardrail.

Last week, NDOT said it would not submit a noise study because rumble strips, designed to alert drivers when they approach the centerline of the highway, exceed TRPA noise limits. Now the plan is to sit down with TRPA and talk.

A similar spat between the TRPA and Caltrans developed over the installation of shiny guardrail along a North Shore highway. Caltrans refused to install “rust rail,” which the TRPA says blends better with the natural environment, because they say it is weaker than galvanized guardrail.

On Tuesday, Caltrans agreed to conduct a study to determine a more aesthetic alternative. Until the alternative is determined, Caltrans agreed to install a duller-gray guardrail that is just as strong.

NDOT said it plans to work alongside Caltrans on the study.