Douglas freeway alternative most expensive, least popular | RecordCourier.com

Douglas freeway alternative most expensive, least popular

Options for potential routes of I-11 through Nevada no longer include Carson Valley, state officials said.

A proposal to run Interstate 11 across the Pine Nuts and through Carson Valley would add 70 miles and an hour's travel time to route between Las Vegas and Reno.

The alternative is not being recommended for more analysis by the Nevada Department of Transportation for a variety of reasons, including that costs the most and has the least support of any of the routes presented by the state.

At $2.5-$3 billion the alternative through Carson Valley is the most expensive, requiring the state to acquire 400-500 acres of right of way

Of the routes, the one through Carson Valley was also the least popular.

"Many respondents felt this alternative would negatively impact the region's traffic congestion," the report said. "Another major concern included the difficulty in implementing a connection between Mason and Carson Valley due to topographical constraints."

Public input is being sought on corridor alternatives for the freeway that would link Nevada's two major cities with central Arizona.

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Residents are being asked to comment on the 450-mile long interstate by Nov. 8.

According to the analysis presented by the state, the Carson Valley route is the only one that links the freeway directly to Carson City.

It would take the Wellington Road from north of Walker Lake to State Route 208, linking to Highway 395 at Holbrook Junction.

"(The alternative) has a different endpoint serving a substantially different travel market than the other alternatives," according to the analysis. "The existing routes, while faster, do not provide service to Carson City."

The existing I-580 route to Carson City provides an existing means to accommodate traffic along the Interstate.

According to the state, the Douglas County 2030 Transportation Plan shows a future bypass around Minden and Gardnerville that could be put to use if the route through the Valley was ever approved.

"This document also identified a range of short-term to long-term projects that upgrade additional segments of Highway 395 to a freeway," the analysis said.

Environmentally, the freeway could affect habitat for the bi-state distinct population of sage grouse, since the freeway would establish barriers where there weren't any previous.

"Sections of the new highway … bypassing Gardnerville, as well as areas of potential highway expansion are likely to have a high level impact on riparian and wetland habitat and multiple protected riparian species that rely on these areas."

Crossing through Minden and Gardnerville would require construction over agricultural lands and canals that might be considered wetlands. The route would also be within the flood hazard area in several locations requiring mitigation.

All comments must be submitted before Nov. 8, 2018 via email to kverre@dot.nv.gov or by mail to 1263 South Stewart Street, Carson City, NV 89712 ATTN: Kevin Verre, room 205.