State: Highway 395 improvements won’t happen by I-580 completion | NevadaAppeal.com

State: Highway 395 improvements won’t happen by I-580 completion

Dave Frank
Appeal Staff Writer

Road improvements that would help ease Highway 395 traffic congestion in Carson City and Douglas County probably won’t be done by the time the city bypass and Interstate 580 are finished, state officials say.

A Nevada Department of Transportation study last year said ways to deal with increasing traffic include widening Highway 395 to six lanes from South Carson City to State Route 88 in Minden and extending Heybourne Road in Douglas County about four miles north to intersect with Highway 395 in South Carson, near Snyder Avenue.

The first would be a state transportation project. The second would be a state, Carson City or Douglas County project, or some combination of that.

Interstate 580 is scheduled to be done in 2011 and the Carson bypass is scheduled to connect with Highway 50 at Spooner Summit in 2012.

Coy Peacock, a state transportation manager, said the interstate and bypass won’t necessarily boost the rate traffic is growing, but will make it easier to get to Carson City.

Traffic rose about 50 percent from 1996-2005, and the problem on the corridor will get worse if Highway 395 is not widened.

“No matter what you do, without widening 395, it (the corridor) will fail,” he said.

There is no money available now for the project that is expected to cost around $160 million, and it won’t come soon, officials said.

“If you look at funding priorities in the state,” Peacock said “This is at the bottom.”

Work on Heybourne Road would also be expensive, said Dennis Taylor, transportation chief of program development, and work might not begin within 20 years.

It is a “possible-future-someday-maybe” project, said Patrick Pittenger, Carson City transportation director.

It would help traffic congestion if it were built, he said, because even after the 395 widening, the highway would still do “poorly” without more help.

But buying the land from government and private owners for the road extension would be expensive, he said, “and there’s the fact that no one has money to do it.”

The road extension is something the city wants to look at as it develops a future regional transportation plan, though, he said, and looking at these things is part of the “great power of ‘what if.'”

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

In other city news:

Supervisors voted in February to change their meeting times on a three-month trial basis starting this month. Their meetings are on the first and third Thursdays of each month. The second meeting of the month will stay at the original 8:30 a.m., but the first meeting of the month will start at 3 p.m. and again at 6 p.m. following a dinner break.

Items on Thursday’s agenda include:

• A discussion of Downtown Consortium outreach led by Supervisor Robin Williamson.

• A public works presentation regarding the national concern of pharmaceuticals in drinking water.

• A settlement with the Carson Nugget, which filed a lawsuit in 2000 saying the city didn’t have the right to charge money for sections of Plaza Street it bought in 1974 and Spear Street it bought in 1980.

The city and the Nugget discussed the settlement in December, but could not agree on terms. Under this agreement, the city would pay the Nugget about $250,00 in reimbursements, $150,000 for a left turn signal at Carson and Robinson streets and about $480,000 for a hotel, conferences center and/or parking garage or to do roadwork on East Robinson and North Plaza streets.

If you go

WHAT: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting

WHEN: 3 p.m. Thursday

WHERE: Sierra Room of the Community Center, 851 E. William St.

On the Net: A copy of the agenda and supporting materials are available at http://www.carson-city.nv.us. Go to the Board of Supervisors link under the City Government tab.