County may seek Muller Lane alternatives
Some version of a route north of Minden and
Gardnerville has been on the books since the 1980s.
What came to be called the Muller Lane Parkway was first proposed in 1985 by county planners as a means to get around Highway 395.
Douglas County commissioners are expected to discuss the future of the parkway, which remains mostly on paper, 3 p.m. July 17, County Manager Larry Werner said.
A state request prompted a debate on the need for the proposed road at Douglas County commissioners June 1 meeting.
According to Community Development Director Mimi Moss, about five miles of the parkway remains to be built, and there is no money set aside for its construction.
While the parkway connects to Highway 395, it stops shortly after the intersection with Monte Vista.
“I can’t continue to support Muller Parkway,” Commission Chairman Barry Penzel said. “Why, we don’t even own the right of way. “On the record, I disagree with Muller Parkway being identified as an alternate route around the downtown corridor.”
County Commissioner Nancy McDermid replied that the route is listed in both the master plan and the Valley Vision Plan.
“I was on the planning commission in 2006, and I voted against Muller Parkway because it would cost $25 million, and we were not going to allow trucks. I thought that was an insane amount of money to put into a road and not allow trucks. We’re still on the hook to build it.”
County Commissioner Steve Thaler said he was eager to hear a public discussion on the fate of the parkway.
“In order for you guys figure out the intersection, we must flesh out what we want to do with Muller Parkway,” he said. “If it’s anything other than a parkway your design will be different than if a regular bypass.”
At the June 1 meeting, Nevada Department of Transportation Deputy Director Bill Hoffman said the state’s 2030 Highway 395 Corridor Study was done in 2007 and needs to be updated.
“We need to have a better idea of how that’s going to work,” Hoffman said of the intersection, which was planned before the Great Recession.
State planners expected traffic to decrease on Highway 395 through Minden and Gardnerville after Muller Lane was done.
However, construction of the parkway depended on a half dozen private parties, in addition to the county.
Because those projects haven’t gone through yet, no money has been set aside for the county’s portion of the road.
Moss told commissioners that the parkway would be an alternate route designed to serve projects that have yet to be built because the Highway 395 corridor can’t handle the additional development.
At least one project located behind the Gardnerville Walmart could begin work in the near future.
Another challenge is the portion of the parkway crossing Park Cattle land.
Park Ranch Holdings has yet to record a transfer of part of the road.
Moss said that transfer will trigger a seven-year requirement for the county to start its portion of the road.
“We’re keeping this going like it’s going to happen,” Penzel said. “If the county thought this was going to happen, shouldn’t we be putting money aside to perform our portion of it.”
The long-range state plan also includes a two-lane road in the East Valley that would connect to Interstate 580 to Highway 395 south of Gardnerville.