Six Mile Canyon Road repair could reach $500,000 | NevadaAppeal.com
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Six Mile Canyon Road repair could reach $500,000

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Richard Bacus, Storey County public works director, and County Commissioner Greg "Bum" Hess walk over a flooded portion of Six Mile Canyon Road on Jan. 4. The repairs will cost from $250,000-$500,000, a price that is too steep for the rural county, Bacus said Tuesday.
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VIRGINIA CITY – Six Mile Canyon Road, a major route for commuters between Dayton and Reno, will be closed until Storey County can secure $250,000 to $500,000 in federal funding to repair sections of the road destroyed by the New Year’s flood.

That half-million price tag is as much as the rural county pays in a year for all its road maintenance and public works’ staff salaries, said Richard Bacus, Storey County public works director.

“We’ve done our first assessment with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) and the repairs will cost from $250,000 to $500,000,” he said Tuesday. “Now it’s up to the governor to get with the president to declare a state of emergency for Storey County. That’s the only way we can get federal funding to repair and open the road. If we don’t get it, it could be half a year or a long time before Six Mile opens.”

The road is maintained by the Storey County Public Works Department, which has three workers, two trucks, one front loader and a small backhoe. To repair Six Mile Canyon Road on their own, Bacus said, would be nearly impossible. They’d need a tractor with a special bucket, more trucks and all the road material.

“We’ve got to get federal funding,” Bacus said. “If we don’t, I don’t know what we’re going to do.”

He said about two miles of the six-mile road is destroyed. The blacktop was washed out in these sections and three or four separate sections of culverts have to be replaced. Other culverts must be cleaned out. The work crew would also need to stabilize the bank along the road.

Bacus will start taking contractor bids on the work later this week. He expects four area contractors to respond. The lowest bid will be brought before the Storey County Commission for approval. He doesn’t know when, or if, FEMA will grant the money for the road repairs.

“We can have the repairs done in a month if I have a contractor and the funding secured,” he said.

Private and public damage to Storey County after the Dec. 31-Jan.1 flood totaled about $700,000, said Dean Haymore, county planning and building official. Denim Bridge and the Canyon Way Bridge in Lockwood washed out, which will cost $275,000 to replace.

Storey County Commissioner Bob Kershaw said the county should expand its flood program because of such events.

“When another flood comes – and it will – so we’re not always begging FEMA and getting 10 cents on the dollar,” he said.

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