Middling roads might be beyond Douglas’ reach | RecordCourier.com

Middling roads might be beyond Douglas’ reach

if you go

What: Douglas County Board of Commissioners

Where: 1616 Eighth St. Minden

When: 1 p.m. Thursday

When it comes to roads, Douglas County would prefer to be a C-student, but keeping that level of service might be out of reach.

Level of service C provides average traffic delays of 10-19 seconds at intersections without a traffic signal and light congestion at signalized intersections.

Level of Service D allows traffic delays of 20-29 seconds at intersections without a light, and more than one traffic light cycle for peak traffic.

The state allows Level of Service D on its roads, but county commissioners in 2014 voted to maintain a level of service C, according to a memo prepared by County Engineer Erik Nilssen.

According to the Douglas County Transportation Plan before county commissioners on Thursday, four projects have to be completed by 2025 to keep the county at level of service C.

Those include four lanes of Muller Parkway from Monte Vista to Pinenut Road, Heybourne Road from Monterra Drive to Meridian Boulevard, widen Stephanie Way to four lanes from Highway 395 to Santa Barbara Drive, and widen Riverview to four lanes from Highway 395 to Dresslerville Road.

Those four projects alone would cost the county $86 million, according to Nilssen.

That’s money the county doesn’t have and is unlikely to obtain, Nilssen said.

Finishing Muller Lane Parkway doesn’t fulfill the county’s requirement for a bypass. That’s because commissioners banned heavy trucks from the route when they approved its alignment in 2005. That occurred after Dave Nelson and others sued the county in connection with the approval of Stodieck Estates and the location of Muller Lane Parkway. Nelson was elected to the county commission in June.

Nilssen said commissioners may want to revise that, since the alternative of extending Waterloo Lane from Highway 88 to Highway 395 would cost $28 million, since it would require a new bridge over the East Fork of the Carson River.

Two sections of Highway 395, which are maintained by the state, have dropped below Level of Service D.

They include the sections from Highway 50 to Mica Drive and from Muller Lane to Highway 88.

Both the Heavenly to Carson Valley Gondola and the extension of the V&T Railroad back to Minden are addressed in the plan.

The gondola would be prohibitively expensive at $30-35 million. No cost estimate was included with the V&T, and no timing was associated with either project.

Unlike Douglas County’s ground transportation, its airport has a ready source of grant funding from the Federal Aviation Administration

In order to obtain funding, though the airport must update its master plan and airport improvement program regularly.

County commissioners will discuss approving that plan on Thursday.

Since the turn of the century, Minden Tahoe Airport has received $18.87 million in grants.

According to the plan, the airport is base to 400 aircraft, with 90,000 annual operations in 2016.

Under the proposed plan, the Minden-Tahoe would remain a general aviation airport into the future.