Half trucks will use 395, anyway
Next month, the Nevada Department of Transportation will open the southern end of the I-580 bypass around Carson City.
The last leg of that project cost of $49 million for five miles, an illustration of just how expensive it is to build roads.
Once done, Carson Valley residents will be able to go all the way from Clear Creek to Susanville before experiencing a traffic signal.
However, because a true freeway interchange will cost another $20 million, those returning home will find the route a bit less convenient.
With Reno’s current boom, we expect to see some additional development pressure in north Carson Valley after the freeway opens, but perhaps not as much as before the Great Recession.
On Monday, county commissioner met to discuss the future of Muller Parkway and work out the Douglas County transportation plan.
According to a report prepared by the county engineer, finishing the parkway will cost $39.4 million and it will have to be done by 2025 to maintain traffic levels on the 395 corridor where they are now.
Even if commissioners agree to allow trucks to use the parkway, it won’t be practical to make it a truck route. At best it will be an alternate for motorists trying to get through town.
As to other options for a truck route, the price tags are staggering and the benefits are minimal.
Of the 3,700 vehicles entering Douglas County from the south, only 400 are trucks, which make up less than 2 percent of downtown traffic. According to the county, the number of trucks making local deliveries and those passing through are evenly matched.
Most of the 23,500 vehicles using the corridor through Minden and Gardnerville are Carson Valley residents.
Without a demonstrated need, the chances of raising the money to build a bypass of any sort are low. We suggest the county save its nickels to work on residential roadways until something better comes along.