State looks to take Carson Freeway bids

The state is expecting to advertise for bids on the first phase of the Carson Freeway on Dec. 9.

Carson City Mayor Ray Masayko and Nevada Department of Transportation Director Tom Stephens met Wednesday to discuss the scheduling of the Carson City Freeway project.

Scheduling concerns arose from the recent court decision on right-of-way purchases and the potential competition for projects money by Southern Nevada.

"We do not know how much highway construction funding will be available in 2004 and at that time there may be competition from top projects in Las Vegas," Stephens said.

He told Masayko that the project has not been delayed and provided details on the schedule which included the advertising for bids of the first phase.

The Carson City Freeway is being completed in two phases. The first phase is the northern three miles which goes from Lakeview Hill at the north end of Carson City to Williams Street near Lompa Lane. Funding for the first part of this phase is $13 million. It includes the construction of the bridges over College Parkway, Emerson Drive, Northgate Lane and Arrowhead Drive as well as a storm drain system from Arrowhead Drive to the south of College Parkway.

The second part of the Phase 1 includes bridges over Highway 50 and Carmine Street and the interchange with North Carson Street. It will also include the construction of the highway from Lakeview Hill to Highway 50. This part of the phase has been 30 percent designed and 95 percent of the right-of-way has been bought. It should go out to bid by February 2001. It is expected that $80 million will be programmed in September.

Phase 2 of the project goes five miles south from Highway 50 to the junction at Highway 395 and Highway 50. Its costs are estimated at $160 million.

Consultant selection for the design work is expected to be completed in the spring of 2000 and all right-of-way purchased by the end of 2003. The final alignment of Phase 2 is expected to be given to the Carson City Supervisors in May 2001 for approval.

The recent court decision for a six-acre portion of property owned by developer John Serpa has caused some review of preliminary plans of the southern interchange, and possibly less right-of-way purchases.

"If we go with a simpler, less right-of-way intensive option for the southern interchange, we will save both time and money," Stephens said.

He assured Masayko that these and other recent issues have not caused any changes to the original schedule or budgets.

Stephens said Southern Nevada Superprojects include the Interstate 15 widening from Las Vegas to the California state line and Highway 95 in northwest Las Vegas.

If funding is tight, Phase 2 of the Carson City Freeway could be constructed in stages, similar to what is being done in Phase I and has been done from most major freeway projects in Nevada.

Stephens said an example of that may be that bridges and drainage work could be done first, or the southern interchange could be done last after the main portion of the freeway is open for traffic around Carson City.


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