City receives important approval for freeway construction

Carson City has received an important federal approval, the denial of which could have seriously stalled construction of the freeway.

It will also mean a reduction in flood insurance rates for some Carson residents.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved a revision to the city's flood plain across the Lompa property south of Highway 50 East. The approval will allow the state to finish design of the freeway's northern half as well as allowing appraisers to determine the value of the property. State officials have estimated they will need between 80 and 100 acres, and they plan to take at one time the necessary Lompa property south of Highway 50 East for both phases of the freeway.

The FEMA approval of the changes comes in response to about $36 million worth of drainage work with freeway construction. City and state leaders applied for a remapping of the flood change to recognize those changes.

City Engineer Larry Werner said it would have been significantly more expensive and land-consuming to build the freeway across the Lompa property without changes to the flood plain.

For homeowners in North Carson City, the changes could mean lower flood insurance, said John Givlin, Carson senior project engineer. Homes in the University Heights and Silver Oak area could see a decrease, and the change could help draw business to the area.

Unlike Kmart with huge flood channels fronting its development, businesses developing along North Carson Street, such as the recently opened Albertson's, wouldn't be subjected to such stringent flood control measures. For example, Albertson's, which opened just two weeks ago, didn't have to build similar storm-drainage channels.

State officials expect to advertise for construction of the $95 million Phase 1B on Dec. 1, and will start construction next spring.

Phase 1B will fill in the freeway between the $14 million bridges already constructed in North Carson City, and includes a bridge over Highway 50 East. State officials have said they are considering splitting the freeway into several more phases, one may include building the freeway to College Parkway and later finishing it to Fairview Drive before finishing Phase 2, which will take the freeway from Highway 50 East to the Spooner Summit Junction.

The entire freeway project is estimated at $300 million.

Coming up

There will be a walk along the northern freeway corridor Tuesday, June 18 at 6 p.m. Call Carson City Supervisor Robin Williamson at 887-2100 for information.


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