Burgeoning cost brings exit to work on Kings Lane entrance
Gardnerville pulled the plug on construction of a stretch of sidewalk between Kings Lane and the Waterloo Center due to the project’s skyrocketing costs.
Bids were opened for the project on Dec. 18, which revealed the cost for installing the sidewalk and a culvert at the entrance was $836,000, more than $200,000 above the town’s estimate.
An agreement with the Nevada Department of Transportation will fund $290,000 of the project, but making up the rest would cost the town 40 percent of its annual budget.
The project has been in the works for a decade when the cost to replace the sidewalk was closer to $13,000, Town Manager Erik Nilssen said.
But after the state examined the project, it said the town also needed to deal with Martin Slough, which is an open ditch south of Kings Lanes’ entrance. Nilssen said state engineers determined that if the slough flooded it could erode away the sidewalk.
Work on the slough complicated issues significantly, but Nilssen prepared a budget that would allow the town to achieve its portion of the $625,000 estimate. After learning the actual cost, Nilssen said he worked out a way the town could pay for the work but it would require the town divert money from virtually every project in the future.
“In my opinion the costs far exceed the benefits,” he said. “It’s simply not worth it.”
Board member Lloyd Higuera said he was disappointed the project won’t be done.
“I can’t see putting the town in hock for an NDOT project,” he said.
While board members agreed to reject all bids and cancel the agreement with the state, Linda Slater said the town should look for ways to complete the project.
The anticipated repaving of the highway in 2022 is unlikely to provide any relief for residents of the community.
Nilssen said the state won’t build new sidewalk where there isn’t any.
Nevada Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meg Ragonese said the state has completed 60 percent of the engineering for the repaving between Waterloo Lane and First Street.
She said the repaving projects includes major hydraulics upgrades that require relocation of underground utilities.
“We anticipate those utility relocations to take place in 2021 to make way for the future roadway reconstruction,” she said.
On Tuesday, Gardnerville Town Board members agreed to purchase an easement from the Hellwinkel family that will solve some of the town’s storm drainage issues.
The easement will permit installation of a pipeline from the retention basins under Gardnerville Station to the slough. The state work will connect drains to the retention basins.