Carson gets more than $200 million in road work next year

The state will pour about $200 million in road construction and maintenance into Carson City in the next year.

Nevada Department of Transportation Director Tom Stephens updated Carson City supervisors on plans that include a restriping of South Carson Street, construction of the first phase of the Carson freeway and the beginning of design on the second phase, as well as repaving Washington, Fifth and King streets.

The city's number one project is the Carson freeway. Blocking the path to construction of Phase 1B is the purchase of the Lompa property south of Highway 50 East. However, before state officials can make an offer on the property, city and state officials must receive approval of their drainage plans from the Federal Emergency Management Association.

"It's one of the milestones we need," Freeway Manager Jim Gallegos said.

Carson Street Operations Manager John Flansberg said city officials have worked to provide FEMA the information it needs and said the group expects a decision from FEMA in about six weeks. NDOT officials expect to make an offer on the needed property in June. Construction is expected to start on Phase 1B, which will fill in the freeway from Lakeview Hill to Highway 50 East between recently finished freeway bridges.

Stephens noted while his department catches heat for "delays" to the Carson freeway, he is criticized equally in all parts of the state.

"We don't have enough money to meet the needs and everybody thinks they are shortchanged," he said. "But we're just trying to balance the system."

Stephens teased city leaders with the idea they could take over maintenance of smaller streets like Fifth and Washington, which Mayor Ray Masayko said the city would agree to "as soon as we take some of the through traffic off those streets" with the freeway's construction and "when we get our 5 cents back." The city contributes 5 cents of its allotted gas tax to the freeway's construction.

With the city's certification as an urban area, state officials may not in the future update city supervisors on their plans, instead working more closely with the city's Regional Transportation Commission as the community becomes a metropolitan planning organization.

The federal designation will allow the community more direct access to some federal transportation funds and will require a higher level of transportation planning. Planning efforts will require the city to identify projects and funding to be included in the state transportation plan.


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