Guinn plan could clear way for multi-use path

It looks like a multi-use path can be built along with construction of the Carson City freeway corridor, Mayor Ray Masayko said Thursday.

Masayko met with Gov. Kenny Guinn and they decided Guinn's idea to include the cost of the path with the freeway could work.

"There are still some issues to be worked out," Masayko said. "It's a cooperative, creative solution."

Guinn's idea is basically the same as he presented at a May 9 state transportation board meeting. Land in the Lompa wetlands south of Highway 50 East needed for drainage may not have to be purchased if the state funnels drainage water to nearby city land. The savings on the land could be spent to build a $3.4 million path.

Masayko said he and the governor agreed to send drainage water to about 30 acres of city land off Butti Way. The land lies between the city's sewage treatment plant and the corporate yard, and a small drainage ditch already runs through the property.

Masayko said the state would deliver the water to the city land, and getting the water to the Carson River would become the city's responsibility.

The specific portions of the agreement still need to be worked out. Scott Magruder, Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman, said transportation officials haven't had a chance to examine the agreement and would need to review it to see if the drainage plan is feasible.

Landscaping hasn't been promised and is not part of the deal, but Masayko said he and Guinn "are on the same page" to include at least topsoil with freeway construction.

Masayko said the bulk of the path costs, retaining walls, are "prohibitively expensive." Retaining walls along the path make up about $1.5 million of the path's costs. Guinn and Masayko agreed that getting the extra rights of way to eliminate those extra costs is a priority.

Guinn's plan kills two birds with one stone. Transportation officials have dealt with uncertain rights of way costs and are unsure how many acres of the Lompa land are needed for drainage. By using city land, they can acquire less of the Lompa land. Any land on the proposed freeway's east side that has its access cut off would have access provided by the city, Masayko said.

Guinn's May decision put on hold a decision to increase funding for the freeway's first phase from about $92 million to $136 million.

The proposal will probably head to the state board of transportation in July.


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