State blames feds for freeway delays

State officials told Carson City supervisors Thursday the Federal Emergency Management Association is mostly responsible for the latest delay to the Carson City freeway.

"The project schedule has been continually affected by changes," Carson Freeway Manager Jim Gallegos said. "The department has control over certain things, but there are always issues."

Gallegos said the Nevada Department of Transportation is committed to completing the $136 million first half of the freeway from Lakeview Hill to Highway 50 East.

Construction on that portion was supposed to start late this spring and has been moved to late summer or early fall. Design on the second phase of the freeway -- from Highway 50 East to Spooner Summit Junction in South Carson -- should begin this summer. Its construction and completion, however, depends on funding from the state transportation board.

"I'm going to do everything in my power to keep this project moving," Gallegos said.

City supervisors also pressed their own staff to make sure they're "not in the way of this project," Mayor Ray Masayko said.

Carson City and the state transportation department refer to themselves as "partners" in the project.

Andrew Burnham, Carson Development Services director, said the city is completing as many of its projects -- mostly drainage projects in North Carson -- as possible while waiting for word from FEMA on a revision to the city's flood plain map. Without that revision, city and state officials can't go forward with crucial elements of design and property acquisition.

The entire freeway is expected to be completed between 2008 and 2010.


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