Residents explain their concerns about freeway construction

Seven-year Carson City resident Paul Payne had heard two different stories about how the Carson City Freeway would be built through his neighborhood.

"I'm here because of all the rumor about the grade between Fairview and Highway 50 West - Spooner Summit," said Payne, who lives near Koontz Lane and Fairview Drive. "They've alleviated some of my fears."

Payne heard both that the freeway would be built below ground and at ground level. He worried that building the freeway at ground level would cause the aesthetic value to be lost for those living above the freeway. He also wondered about noise, drainage and other issues being properly addressed, he said.

He learned Thursday the freeway would be built below ground when he stopped in to talk with staff from various government agencies such as the city, Regional Transportation Commission and the Nevada Department of Transportation during a meeting about the Carson City Freeway and the related widening of Fairview Drive.

Officials sought opinions from the more than two dozen residents at the forum.

The $40 million section, referred to as Phase 2A, runs south from Highway 50 East to Fairview Drive. This newest part of the project was the focus, though the first phases also were featured and depicted on an array of maps, plans and renditions.

Phase 2A includes completion of the interchange at Highway 50 East, a partial interchange at Fairview Drive, a grade separated crossing at Fifth Street and a portion of the storm drain system and roadway improvements.

People who come to these outreach events are, most of all "curious about when things are going to happen," said Jim Gallegos, NDOT project manager. "And we're showing people how we're going to do it."

"We live in Minden and wanted to see where (the state is) at," said Joyce Winton. "And we're interested in Fairview because we use it to get to church."

Also of interest to Winton is which ways vehicles may go in the future.

"I wonder how much traffic is going to cut through town when the freeway is finished," she said.

"We live on Prison Hill and we're concerned about sound coming from Fairview," said Carson resident Doreen Eaton. "And the glare of the lights. Too many lights and you won't be able to see any more stars."

Eaton also said that seniors she knows who live in Quail Park near the Fairview project are already complaining about road vibrations.

"Four lanes might make it worse," she said.

Andy Burnham, the city Development Services Director, also wonders about the freeway's affect on Fairview. He said Quail Park residents are concerned about turning onto the street because the traffic flow will be heavier once the street is increased to four lanes.

Other concerns the city might need to look at, he said, are sight distance and noise. Perhaps a change in the landscaping outside of the neighborhood would allow better visibility. Or some form of traffic control might be necessary, he said.

Phase 2B will include completion of the Fairview Drive Interchange, a single-point urban interchange at South Carson Street, grade-separated crossings at Koontz Lane, Clearview Drive and Snyder Avenue, the remainder of the freeway drainage system, sound walls and completion of roadway improvements, according to NDOT.

Aesthetics and landscaping will include topsoiling, seeding, contour grading, boulder and rock talus placement, and patterning and concrete staining similar to that being done for Phase 1.

Also part of Phase 2 are bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

While a stenographer allowed residents to record their thoughts about the project at this event, people also were able to write down their ideas and leave them.

Residents are welcome to submit comments, verbal or pictorial, until 5 p.m. Jan. 6. Electronic responses can be sent to:

• Reporter Terri Harber may be reached at or 881-2111 ext. 215.

Freeway Fast Facts

Advanced Bridge Project (Phase 1A)

• Advertise for Bids: December 1999

• Construction Completion: April 2002

Roadway (Phase 1B)

• Advertise for Bids: May 2003

• Construction Completion: April 2006

• Cost for Phase 1: $120 million

Phase 2

• Design phase 2: 60 percent complete, October 2004

Phase 2A

Highway 50 east to Fairview Drive, advertise for bids: Spring 2006

Cost: $40 million

Phase 2B

• Fairview to interchange

• Cost: $80 million

Fairview widening

• Design: 50 percent complete

• Fairview open to freeway traffic: 2008

• Cost to widen: $4.5 million

• Full freeway opens: Late 2010

Interstate 580

• Mount Rose to Bowers Mansion

• Cost: $251 million

• Opens: 2009


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