NDOT announces Storey County road projects | NevadaAppeal.com

NDOT announces Storey County road projects

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

Virginia City – Residents and visitors will have a smoother drive up to this historic city, but that new overlay comes with a $500,000 price tag.

Storey County will receive about $1.4 million for highway projects in the Nevada Department of Transportation’s proposed project list for 2006 to 2015.

NDOT Deputy Director Susan Martinovich presented the plan to Storey County commissioners Tuesday. Commissioners unanimously approved the proposed list of projects:

• Overlay on Highway 342 from the Silver City to Virginia City, $500,000, with work beginning this summer and completed in 2007.

• Slope repair of Highway 341 from Virginia City north to Geiger Summit, $499,182, in 2006.

• Grind and paving of Highway 341 from Virginia City north to Lousetown Road, $406,623, in 2006.

• Extend a barrier rail Highway 342 at Griners Bend, $11,000, also in 2006.

She said the first phase of the Virginia & Truckee Railway project, which spans the Overman Pit and follows the right-of-way of the historic V&T line, is about 50 percent completed and has hit no major snags.

Martinovich said Nevada was ranked in a national survey as No. 1 for the smoothness of roads and No. 2 for bridge conditions.

One thing she would like to see changed: the high number of casualties on the roads.

“On state highways 400 people were killed last year,” she said. “That’s more than one person per day.”

She said the department has plans for a statewide strategic safety plan and funding for economic development projects for the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, even though the state doesn’t know yet how much it will be allocated by the feds.

“We’re still waiting on a national transportation bill,” Martinovich said. “We don’t know how much money we’ll get or when.”

The transportation bill expired in September 2003 and the last extension expired on May 31.

She said department officials believe that NDOT will get a larger allocation from the feds this year because of greater power wielded by the state’s congressional delegation, which includes Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. The state Legislature closed Thursday, setting NDOT’s budget at $2 million, she said.

Marilou Walling, county administrative officer, asked her if NDOT would consider installing a traffic light at Highway 50 East and Highway 341.

“We’ve had a lot of people call in and ask for a stop light there,” she said.

Martinovich said an agent will look into it, but often traffic lights create greater problems.

“When can I expect my refund?” asked Commissioner Greg “Bum” Hess, confusing NDOT with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Gov. Kenny Guinn’s plan will return up to $300 per vehicle to Nevada car owners who registered their vehicles this year.

Martinovich responded with a polite laugh.

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.