State traffic plan: Make 395 wider

A Nevada Department of Transportation study determined the most practical way to deal with increased traffic between Carson City and Douglas County is to widen Highway 395.

The state will present its final report on the U.S. 395 Corridor Study 4-7 p.m. Thursday at the Douglas County Cooperative Extension Conference Room, 1329 Waterloo Lane in Gardnerville.

While the state examined several alternative routes between the two communities, obstacles will make it impractical or useless to build them before 2030.

Transportation engineer Coy Peacock said the study conducted by traffic consultant Parsons Group showed several obstacles to connecting Carson Valley to the Carson City freeway.

"Highway 395 is going to have to be widened to handle the traffic coming through that area," he said. "We're going to have to work on 395 starting at the north end and work our way down."

According to information that will be available at the meeting Thursday in Gardnerville, the highest traffic volume is between Jacks Valley Road and Highway 50.

According to the corridor study, construction of frontage roads on either side Highway 395 running south to Jacks Valley Road would help relieve congestion at the Highway 50 interchange.

One-way frontage roads would run from Jacks Valley Road to Muller Lane. Highway 395 would become a freeway with interchanges at Jacks Valley Road, Johnson Lane, and Airport Road and Genoa Lane, which would be combined into a single intersection, and Muller Lane.

Overpasses would be installed at Topsy Lane, Mica Drive and Stephanie Way. An interchange may be installed at Plymouth and South Sunridge drives.

The freeway would end at Muller Lane and become a six-lane road where the frontage roads would merge. The highway would remain the same from Highway 88 to Pinenut Road. It would be widened to four lanes from Pinenut Road to Palomino. The truck climbing lane south of Palomino would be extended to Double Spring.

Consultants concluded that the majority of traffic is generated from the Gardnerville Ranchos, Gardnerville and Minden.

However, daily traffic drops off dramatically between Gardnerville and the California state line.

"This data led to the conclusion that a bypass ...around Minden and Gardnerville to accommodate only the interstate traffic, including trucks, would likely not be justified within the 2030 timeframe of this study," the report concluded.

According to the report, the future Carson City Highway 50 interchange would fail to handle the level of traffic predicted for 2030.

Highway 395 would operate at the poorest levels of service between highways 50 and 88, but traffic levels between 88 and Pinenut Road would actually improve to the best level of service.

The study assumes that Douglas County will complete its transportation plan and that the Muller Lane Parkway would be completed.

One thing that isn't addressed is a source of funding for putting the plan into effect.

Peacock pointed out that for the plan to work federal, state and county funding will be required.

"We need to look at all avenues of funding," he said. "We need to make an effort across the board in order to make this funding package work. We need support from the locals, from the state and from the feds."

Peacock noted that Douglas County hasn't instituted a gas tax for regional road work.

What: Nevada Department of Transportation public information meeting

When: 4-7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Douglas County Parks & Recreation Cooperative Extension Conference Room,1329 Waterloo Lane, Gardnerville

Info: or (775) 888-7124


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