YERINGTON - Local officials have thrown their support to early mapping of a proposed new route to Interstate 80 through Storey County.
Lyon County commissioners joined Storey County commissioners, state Sen. Mark Amodei and Assemblyman Joe Dini in sending a letter of support seeking assistance from the Nevada Department of Transportation to survey and locate the most efficient and economical path for Route 805, a new state road allowing travel from Highway 50 in Silver Springs through the new Tahoe-Industrial Park to the Tracy Interchange on I-80.
Scott Craigie, representing Alrus Consulting LLC, told the board his request for the letter to Gov. Kenny Guinn is intended to get the best route identified before anyone builds over it or does anything that might eliminate any portion.
"The right-of-way issue and dedication of acceptance is down the road, but we have to identify it before we can dedicate it; and quite frankly, we want to make sure the route gets dedicated while the developers are motivated to make that dedication and make sure no one builds over it or does anything that eliminates the most efficient route, because it would make it more difficult later on for the developer."
Commissioners expressed apprehension the letter would overshadow other county priorities along the Highway 50 corridor. Craigie, however, assured the board the letter is merely to indicate the county supports NDOT's assistance in identifying a future route and there is no request at this time to even place the project within NDOT's 10 year plan.
"This should have no impact on priorities. This project will move forward only if development of the industrial center requires it be done," he explained. "The plan is for the counties to accept ownership of the lands, not NDOT. Whether this moves forward or not will be in the hands of this commission and Storey County commissioners."
Commissioner Bob Milz asked why the county would want to accept additional roads when they have problems caring for the roads they are already responsible for.
According to Craigie, going through the local governments is a less burdensome process.
"We had hoped to dedicate the property straight to the state. The problem is, if a private entity donates the land to a state transportation office, in any state in the country, they are required to immediately bond and begin an environmental impact study. If we do it through a local government, a public entity, and later on the public entity makes the dedication to the state, we have less environmental requirements."
The motion to send a letter of continued support was approved 3-1, with Milz voting in opposition.
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