Letter to the editor
After careful analysis, Chaves Road bridge makes no sense
The Feb. 23 article, “A Bridge to Dayton’s Future,” highlights one of Dayton’s major concerns. At the recent DRAC meeting the attendees were overwhelmingly from south of the Carson River, and were overwhelmingly against a bridge at Chaves Road. In the article, comments from several Dayton residents were given, some who live north of the river. There is an analogy called “The Ham and Egg Breakfast.” The chicken is involved in the breakfast but the pig is committed. The folks who live south of the river are committed to the second Dayton bridge and the folks north of the river are involved.
The article mentions the 4,194 people who live south of the river, but we will see that almost triple when the Legado development of 3,100 homes is completed. At 2.5 people per home, Legado adds 7,750 people. Add other developments and we are pushing 15,000 people, most of whom would live west of a Cardelli Road connection via Sutro. There are not many people south of the river that would use a Chaves Road bridge since they are usually going to Carson/Reno or Smith’s market. Apparently Lyon County has not done any traffic studies to see how many people would use a Cardelli bridge or a Chaves Road bridge. From various sources I understand that a Cardelli Road bridge would get 20 times the traffic a Chaves Road bridge would get. If a Cardelli bridge cost 10 times what a Chaves bridge would cost we would have a good cost/benefit ratio, especially since a Chaves bridge is useless to most people south of the river.
There is also the matter of cost for a Cardelli or a Chaves bridge. Lyon County hasn’t produced any engineering studies to support the $2 million Chaves estimate or the $15 million Cardelli estimate. The $15 million number is a scare number designed to shut up the Cardelli bridge supporters. At DRAC, Stony Tenant presented information that indicated a Cardelli bridge could be much less costly. I would like to see an independent engineering study that took an honest look at both alternatives. The study should also include the substantial road improvements that would be required for a Chaves Road bridge.
Finally, a Chaves Road bridge needs to go somewhere. At DRAC, Lyon County showed a bypass road that skirts the Carson River floodplain and goes through two working ranches. That road is highly unlikely. The Nevada Appeal article shows a road from a Chaves Road bridge crossing to Bullion, which would make Dayton Valley Road a bypass road. This is troubling for many reasons. First Dayton Valley road goes through a residential area with schools. During the day we see many children on their bikes and skateboards or walking to the school and library or visiting friends. Putting through traffic on Dayton Valley Road is insane. We should also consider that planned development south of the river will push the population along Dayton Valley Road to over 15,000 people. Adding more traffic to Dayton Valley Road doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Ronald H. Adams