Southern half of freeway part of NDOT budget |

Southern half of freeway part of NDOT budget

Money to start construction of the southern half of the Carson City freeway is in the Nevada Department of Transportation’s proposed 2006-7 budget.

The budget was approved Tuesday by the state Board of Transportation – which includes the governor, lieutenant governor, controller and attorney general as well as several residents.

The projects contained in the budget include $23 million in the current budget to start design and pre-construction work on the southern section of the freeway. Proposed projects for 2006 and 2007 add another $10.75 million to finish the design work between Highway 50 East and the Spooner Summit junction.

The best news for Carson City is $44 million in the proposed budget for construction of the roadway south to Fairview Drive.

Altogether, that’s a total of $77.75 million in work on the freeway project – almost all of it from bond sales Gov. Kenny Guinn and the 2003 Legislature authorized to jump-start “super projects” around the state.

The vote to approve the projects came at the same time the board agreed to accept Carson City’s proposal to extend the city gas tax add-on to provide another $15 million toward the freeway project.

Mayor Ray Masayko said the gas tax proceeds will be diverted in 2005-8 so the city can afford to expand and reconstruct Fairview Drive to connect the bypass to Carson Street. And he said the money will be held back if the state hasn’t gotten the project completed by 2010.

Masayko said 3 cents of the tax override will go to the freeway. The other 2 cents, he said, will be available for Carson supervisors to use on city street projects along with a 4-cent tax already dedicated to street work in the capital.

Guinn said Carson City is getting a great deal because its original $19 million pledge and the new $15 million pledge are less than the state’s investment to construct a storm water drainage system through the center of Eagle Valley, which is being built as part of the project.

Guinn also said when the state cuts the ribbon for the completed freeway, he expects to turn over ownership and responsibility for repair and maintenance of Carson Street to the city.