Unsafe Douglas roads on state radar | RecordCourier.com

Unsafe Douglas roads on state radar

by Leslie Pearson
A Ford Taurus that was struck from behind by one full-sized truck and then knocked into the path of another. The driver of the Taurus was killed in the accident. A turn lane is proposed for the site of the accident.
Kurt Hildebrand |

Intersections that have posed safety hazards for Douglas County residents are either on the Nevada Department of Transportation’s list of projects or are about to begin work as soon as funding is available.

Department Deputy Director Bill Hoffman told the county commissioners Thursday that three corridors were approved for roadwork in the state’s 10-year work program for the county.

A left-hand turn lane at milepost 17.8 of Highway 395 is closest on the list to begin work, he said.

The turn lane would provide access to the Washoe Tribal Headquarters south of Gardnerville without blocking southbound traffic.

Access to Washoe offices and businesses on the stretch of highway has proven dangerous and fatal in the past.

Last summer, a northbound driver was killed in a three-car collision when he attempted to make a left-hand turn into the Washoe Tribal Smoke Shop.

Chairman Doug Johnson said the corridor was “dangerous” but didn’t see it on the agenda.

Hoffman said that it was on the state’s list of projects.

There was a discrepancy on how close the project was to beginning.

Hoffman said that the project is still seeking funds and is about “$600,000 to $700,000 short” but another state representative informed him that the bid process had opened and was looking for vendors.

Johnson asked for clarification for how close the project was to securing funding so that he could inform constituents on when the project would begin.

Other intersections the state is examining include the one at Centerville Lane and State Route 88, which is “most definitely on the radar screen,” Hoffman said.

“We will make sure that our safety folks get back out here and take a look at that,” he said.

Hoffman did not say when work on the intersection would begin or what would be implemented to create a safer intersection.

Proposed long-range projects in Thursday’s agenda included replacing a culvert 1.7 miles west of the State Route 88 junction, replacing a bridge railing east of the junction with Waterloo Lane and widening the road from two to four lanes at the Kimmerling Road intersection.

Funding and start dates for these projects were “unknown.”

Hoffman said that the “project was moving forward” to extend the merge lane at the intersection of Highway 395 and Airport Road in Minden.

He said that federal funds were secured, but were holding up work.

“It does take several months to make it through the process,” he said.

Hoffman told commissioners that he attended a meeting last summer and heard the concerns of community members asking that something be done to make the intersection safer.

“I saw a line of many people,” he said. “We get the message and we’re making it a concern.”