Freeway to make 2006 a big year for Carson |

Freeway to make 2006 a big year for Carson

Nevada Appeal editorial board

With all that happened in 2005, it may seem to be a difficult year to top in Carson City. But 2006 will bring the most significant change residents have seen in many years – or, at least, half of a significant change.

We’re talking, of course, about the freeway. Its opening sometime later this winter or early in spring will change people’s driving habits, alter the traffic patterns in neighborhoods throughout town and refocus business development at its interchanges.

The change in business patterns already is taking place, with the most obvious being the location of Wal-Mart off College Parkway. Other businesses are moving into that area, and the trend will accelerate as the freeway nears completion.

Another sign of the times was the sale of the Pinon Plaza, which was built with the anticipation of the freeway bringing customers to its front door. Clark Russell’s sale to Jacobs Entertainment Inc. demonstrates the value such locations now hold.

When we say “completion” of the freeway, we realize it’s only the northern half of the bypass. It’ll be another four years before the highway does its intended job of moving traffic around downtown Carson City. That’ll be an even bigger day.

Nevertheless, as we’ve noted before, the northern half of the bypass will change the commuting habits of many people – especially those from the ever-growing Dayton area – and has made the northern end of Carson City a hot development spot.

The biggest development of 2005, the new Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, kick-started the activity there. We can’t wait to see what else develops over the course of a new year.