Public works contracts key for construction industry | nnbw.com

Public works contracts key for construction industry

Rob Sabo

Public works projects will play a dominant role for the northern Nevada construction industry next year, and contracts from the Reno Redevelopment Agency will set the pace.

Among the redevelopment agency’s projects:

* Move Reno Fire Station No.1 from Second Street and Evans Avenue to two locations to be built at Fourth Street and Valley Avenue and the Grand Sierra Resort.

* Break ground for an estimated $50 million Triple-A baseball stadium, as well as new retail development, at the site of the former fire station. “We will have shovels in the ground after the first of the year, and we will be playing ball in ’09,” says Mark Lewis, redevelopment administrator.

* Complete construction on the first phase of the ReTRAC cover from Virginia to West Streets. A second phase will add yet-to-be-determined public uses, Lewis says.

* Begin retail development at City Center Plaza.

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* Begin renovation of the downtown postal office into a signature retail center.

* Begin construction of two new downtown parking structures.

* Demolish the Savoy Motel at Sierra and Sixth streets and erect a gateway entry into downtown from the Interstate 80 freeway exit.

* Determine a final location for an urban market and begin construction.

* Begin building fa ade beautification for businesses on the west side of Virginia Street from Second to Third streets.

Meanwhile, two of the area’s largest public works projects the I-580 extension from the Mount Rose interchange to Bowers Mansion, and the second phase of the Carson City Freeway, both Nevada Department of Transportation projects are both well under way.

Construction of the Highway 395 Bypass in Carson City began in October and should be completed in 2009. Motorists headed through Washoe Valley, meanwhile, finally will see the Galena Creek Bridge take shape after years of delay.

Topping NDOT’s wish list for the coming year and the next big project to take shape in the Truckee Meadows, NDOT spokesman Scott Magruder says will be widening northbound Highway 395 from Moana Lane to the Spaghetti Bowl. Projects such as constructing a new Pyramid Highway, or widening Highway 395 to Stead, are still in the long-term planning stages.

“We have a shortage of funding in both northern and southern Nevada,” Magruder says. “Needs have been identified, but we just don’t have the funding.”

The Truckee Meadows Water Authority expects to complete its $35 million North Virginia Pumping System in the first half of this year. TWMA installed a new transmission main line to increase water delivery capacity to the North Valleys, while at the same time replacing a portion of the outdated Stead delivery system.

Scott Estes, engineering manager with TMWA, says the agency has invested more than $100 million in rehabilitation projects over the past five years and will spend roughly $10 million more in 2008 on water main replacements or pump station rebuilds.

Two large TMWA projects, the Mogul Bypass and the Glendale Diversion, were expected to begin in the upcoming year but are on hold until TMWA determines if it will receive federal funding, Estes says. The Mogul Bypass would replace an open portion of the Highland Canal, which delivers water to the Chalk Bluff Water Treatment Plant on the corner of McCarran and Fourth streets. The Glendale Diversion would replace the existing rock rubble diversion that sends water to TMWA’s Glendale Treatment Facility.

The City of Reno expects to complete the 54,000-square-foot, $19 million Downtown Reno Ballroom in February. Also on the agenda: re-roofing the National Bowling Stadium, replacing the elevators at City Hall, and firming up plans for the YMCA building on Foster Drive.

And after repaving near Veterans Memorial Hospital in 2007, the City of Reno will focus on neighborhoods in the old southwest around Mount Rose and Brown streets, says Charla Honey, engineering manager. Repaving shifts to the northwest in 2009 and the northeast and southeast in 2010.

The City of Sparks will see its largest-ever parks project, Golden Eagle Regional Park, come to fruition in 2008, says City Engineer Pete Etchart.

Motorists frustrated with construction of the $12 million Spanish Springs Sewer Interceptor on Sparks Boulevard can expect work crews to be gone by March, says Chris Cobb, capital projects manager for the City of Sparks.

In Fernley, Santa Rosa, Calif.-based KG Walters Construction has begun the initial phases of the city’s new water treatment plant, a multi-stage project scheduled for completion on July 2009 that ultimately could cost $43 million to build out, City Manager Gary Bacock says.

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