USA Parkway could be main issue for Highway 50 corridor plans | NevadaAppeal.com

USA Parkway could be main issue for Highway 50 corridor plans

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

Highway 50 has changed a lot since Jerry Culwell moved to Stagecoach.

“When we moved out here 10 years ago, you could have shot a cannon in either direction on Highway 50 and not hit a soul,” he said.

But with the development that has occurred, and more on the way, the Nevada Department of Transportation just completed the Highway 50 Corridor study in an attempt to deal with the growth.

Culwell was there when they trotted it out for public inspection at a meeting in Dayton on Wednesday.

He said they gave him a lot of literature, but he hasn’t read enough of it to form an opinion other than the state needs to keep an eye on the USA Parkway that is expected to connect Interstate 80 and Highway 50 through the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center.

“It depends on what the developers do,” he said. “I think it should be more tied in with that road.”

He said during rush hours in the morning and evening, it’s tough to cross Highway 50 and he thinks once the USA Parkway is completed, things will worsen.

“That’s the best time to widen it to four lanes and put some onramps and turn lanes where people can get in and off,” he said.

Culwell was one of about 15 Dayton and Stagecoach residents that attended the meeting, picking up literature and offering their views.

NDOT initiated the comprehensive corridor study for Highway 50 in October 2005, to plan for future needs from Carson City east to Leeteville Junction in Churchill County.

A “Stakeholders Working Group” was put together, comprised of residents from affected communities, NDOT officials, government representatives and developers to coordinate where growth would take place, where traffic signals were needed, and other issues essential to controlling traffic on Highway 50.

Among the recommendations from the stakeholders was to Establish park-n-ride lots with an active ride-share program; establish a transit service; provide an eastbound left-turn lane for Iron Mountain Ranch Estates; convert the Highway 95A and Highway 50 intersection into a high-speed roundabout; provide dynamic message signs; install a traffic signal at Highway 341 and Highway 50.

NDOT hopes to have an advisory committee for Highway 50 corridor that will meet quarterly.

“The committee will keep the plan alive and update it,” she said.

NDOT local government liaison Sandy Stanio said the only projects that have already been funded are the traffic light at the intersection of Highways 50 and 341, and the left turn lane for Iron Mountain in Stagecoach.

She said those items are expected to be completed in the spring of 2008.

Stanio also said design work on widening Highway 50 from Chaves Road to Highway 95A in Silver Springs was being looked at, but that the work was six to 10 years away.

Under consideration for the near future is widening of intersections and striping so right and left turn traffic has its own lanes, she said. Dynamic signs are also under consideration.

She plans to present the Highway 50 Corridor Study to the Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Lyon County Commissioners and the Storey County commissioners next month.

“Some things we will be able to do; some things we won’t be able to do,” she said. “But we’ve started. The plan was developed by the public. It was their ideas and we’re trying to implement them.”

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111 ext. 351.