NDOT fields comments, interesting suggestions for Carson Freeway

A Carson City couple already has an idea what to call the future freeway that will allow thousands of cars to zip past their Edmonds Drive home.

"They ought to call it the Pony Expressway," said Barney and Annie Dehl, 31-year residents of the city. "To us, it just sounds fitting for Carson City."

The Dehls spent an hour Thursday visiting with Nevada Department of Transportation officials, browsing the latest set of plans for an interchange and the southern section of freeway.

They wondered whether the section of freeway along Edmonds Drive will be elevated or built below the ground level and had concerns about traffic and noise and what it might do to the value of their property. The big question was when it might be finished.

"We have heard 2008 and we've also heard a lot of people say we'll all be dead and gone by the time it's built," Barney Dehl said. "We're hoping for something in between."

Several other visitors to the transportation open house had questions about business and residential access and one question about whether horses can cross along Edmonds Drive, said project manager Jim Gallegos. But not many questions or comments about whether the crossing at Snyder Avenue should be elevated or at ground level, which one of the purposes of the meeting.

Project officials are studying final plans for the stretch of freeway planned between U.S. 50 East to Carson Street at U.S. 50-Lake Tahoe junction. They are asking the public to submit suggestions and comments to help them determine the best alignments for parts of the freeway stretch, Gallegos said.

An interchange is planned for the U.S. 50 and Carson Street intersection that would have one light below an elevated overpass, impacting traffic in the least way possible, Gallegos said.

"We're confident this is going to work," Gallegos said. "It moves traffic pretty quickly."

The question is whether to elevate the freeway at the interchange or sink Carson Street eight to 10 feet and build the interchange over that, but it would not be as high.

Studies found most traffic in that area becomes congested south of the interchange closer to Jacks Valley Road, which needs to be addressed in another way, he said.

Another area project officials are studying is what to do with the crossover at Snyder Avenue. Studies show depressing the freeway, which would mean sinking it below ground level, with Snyder passing over it is not a good idea because of the shallow water table in the area and drainage problems with a nearby flood plain.

The two alternatives for Snyder Avenue are to either build it at grade level or elevate the freeway at the crossover.

Edmonds Drive resident Gene Kalbhusdal said he came to ask whether the freeway at Edmonds would be depressed and was told it would be sunk 23 feet down in his area. He also had concerns about air pollution from the freeway and suggested NDOT do air sampling now and again in a few years to see if there is any change.

"We all know there's pollution from cars," Kalbhusdal said. He was told at the meeting the department does not plan to sample the air now or in the future, which he said concerns him because there will be no historical reference for future testing.

The state will continue taking comments and suggestions until Oct. 17. Comments can be submitted online at www.nevadadot.com/pub_involvement or by writing a letter to Jim Gallegos, Project Manager, Nevada Department of Transportation, 1263 S. Stewart St., Carson City, NV 89712. General information is available at 888-7320.


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