NDOT plans Highway 50 widening – some day | NevadaAppeal.com
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NDOT plans Highway 50 widening – some day

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

The spirit is willing but the funds are weak.

Susan Martinovich, executive director of the Nevada Department of Transportation, acknowledged that there are many worthy road projects in Lyon County but said the state has precious few funding sources to pay for them.

“Funding is grim and bleak,” she said. “We are looking for very lean years in the next few years.”

One of the major programs planned is to widen Highway 50 from Chaves Road to Highway 95A in Silver Springs, but she could not estimate when the work could begin.

The $60 million project is still in the design phase. The first portion would possibly widen a stretch to Iron Mountain but she couldn’t be sure.

The particular stretch of road qualifies for federal money, she said.

If federal officials see that states have good balances in their highway funds, the feds could take some back, she said, adding that Nevada has lost money this way and had to cancel projects.

She gave a presentation at the Lyon County Commission meeting Thursday, approving the plans NDOT has for the county’s state-maintained roads.

Some of those plans include striping and signage, a daytime headlight section on Highway 95A and the building of a frontage road near the Highway 50-State Route 341 interchange, which is in line for a traffic light.

Another plan in the works is a left-turn pocket at Iron Mountain, guardrail repair and median rumble strips.

She said the state helped put in the Interstate 80 interchange for the private USA Parkway in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center.

The developers have met with Martinovich and Gov. Jim Gibbons to look at ways to speed up construction on the road, such as having the developers pay for it and getting some reimbursement from the state later.

“We are seeing tremendous growth on our I-80 corridor and US-50 corridors,” she said. “We’re going to bring Storey, Lyon and Washoe counties to the table to help maintain it, like with plowing.”

The state plans to study widening Highway 95A from Quarry Lane to SR 427 (Main Street in Yerington), installing steel on Dayton Valley Road at a cost of $128,459, and installing a grate and drainage at Highway 50 and the Virginia City Highway.

Improved signage will be included along Highway 50 and Six Mile Canyon Road.

State Routes 338 in Wellington and State Route 341 near Silver City will also receive upgrades.

Rural Nevada also needs help for those who want to use public transit, Martinovich said, and it’s often hard for some of the local entities to come up with matches for federal grants.

She said state officials planned to work with the Nevada Congressional delegation to see if the match requirement could be dropped or altered, but advised that fewer dollars are coming from Washington these days.

In Las Vegas, she said, the state was creating a public-private enterprise, giving a concessionaire an opportunity to repair roads and pay for it with tolls in a one-time demonstration project.

Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or call 881-7351.