Carson City's history is starting to come to life along the freeway corridor through town as the city puts the finishing touches on steel sculptures depicting its past.
"History in Motion," which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, depicts at freeway interchanges and grade separations various eras during the developmental years in the area.
"The last two days have been exciting days for the freeway landscaping project north leg," as the first batch of steel cutouts was installed, said Tom Grundy, the city's senior project manager.
"The cutouts at Arrowhead Drive represent a snapshot in time when the Transcontinental Motor Convoy crossed the U.S. The plants and rock mulch are coming soon," he said, and the "cowboy cutout at Northgate Lane will be contemplating the Pony Express recruiting poster which will be installed amongst the trees, plants and rock mulches."
The first batch of cutouts was manufactured by Reno Iron Works and installed last week by RaPid Construction.
On Friday, members of Gardeners Reclaiming Our Waysides (GROW), RaPiD Construction, Cassinelli Landscaping and city staff planted the first tree for the project along with Robin Williamson, former supervisor and former chairwoman of Carson City Regional Transportation Commission. The tree was donated by Fleming Nursery Sales Inc.
In recent weeks, historic designs have been etched into the concrete, and in the months to come, drought-resistant plants and trees will be added to complete the scenes at each location.
The city received about $2.2 million for improvements to the freeway corridor, with $1.7 million of that secured through federal funding. The city also received $500,000 through the Nevada Department of Transportation's Community Match Program for the project.
"It is very rewarding to see the years of hard work of many people paying off as the underground work on the project is winding up, and the portions of the project which will be visible and enhance our community for many years to come are being installed," Grundy said.
"Federal funding (is) assigned specifically to this project, thanks to the efforts of GROW and Sen. (Harry) Reid. These funds can only be used for the Carson City freeway's landscape and aesthetic improvements."
The project was conceived by GROW and was spearheaded and shepherded through years of red tape by Mary Fischer. GROW obtained initial federal funding for the project, which has since been awarded additional federal and state grants.
The theme builds on the Nevada Department of Transportation's vision for the entire Highway 395 corridor, which is intended to celebrate Carson City's history.
NDOT has completed steel cutout sculptures over and around bridges on Fairview Drive and East Fifth Street, also with money that can be used only for freeway beautification.
The cattle drive design over Fifth Street features steel and aluminum panels in the shapes of horses, riders and cattle. Life-sized panels are attached to the pedestrian fencing, and sculptures surround the bridges. Fairview Drive art shows early settlers sharing pine nuts with Native Americans.