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Comments sought for Douglas transportation plan

by Christy Chalmers, staff writer

Douglas County’s five-year transportation plan got two ambitious new additions when it was adopted in March.

One is a Carson Valley bypass. The other is acquisition of the former Virginia and Truckee Railroad right-of-way.

Both are marked with “unknown” costs. But they are part of the plan, and the plan is once again open to community comment, so anyone interested can tell county planners what they think.

The comment period, which runs through Dec. 1, marks the start of the annual update process. Each year, the county solicits comments and holds hearings on which transit-related projects – from bike paths to new road construction -should be priorities. A year at a time is added to the plan, creating a document that never expires.

Jeff Foltz, an associate engineer with the Community Development Department, said the projects in the current year of the plan have gone smoothly. They included overlays on Johnson and Tillman lanes.

“The big job we have next year is Lake Parkway (in Stateline),” said Foltz. “That’s a million-dollar job and that is in design right now. It should go to bid in the spring.”

The projects outlined fall into categories of maintenance, rehabilitation, new projects, traffic signals, transit and bike and pedestrian facilities.

Though specific projects and streets are named for the coming year, Foltz warned the plan can change based on the comments given.

“There will be a lot of changes,” he said. “I’m not sure what new projects will be in there.”

The bypass and V&T acquisition, for example, were added March 2 when the current version of the plan was adopted. The V&T acquisition has a time frame of between 2001 and 2005, while the bypass has none.

The schedule for the update process is set, however. A draft of the five-year plan will be distributed in January, followed by workshops later in the month. Approval is expected in March.

For information or a copy of the plan, Foltz can be reached at 782-6233.

What: comment period on Douglas County’s 5-year transportation plan

When: Through Dec. 1

Info: Jeff Foltz, 782-6233