The RTC joined Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) representatives at Shaw Middle School in Sparks to display maps and posters, as well as answer questions about the alternatives they have designed. The community open house is part of the RTC’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) being drafted as part of the Pyramid Highway/US 395 Connection Study.
Project manager Doug Maloy of the RTC and Bryan Gant of Jacobs Engineering discussed possible alternative interchange designs and overall freeway options.
“We will mainly be addressing connectivity, safety and congestion,” Maloy said. “Right now Pyramid Highway is the only major north and south route and McCarran is the only major east and west route to the valleys.”
Gant discussed the common elements of their alternatives such as interchange options near Dandini Boulevard and near Eagle Canyon Road, widening of the road at Disc Drive that continues to Sparks Boulevard and additional bridges and structures for connectivity.
“After narrowing down from about 20, there are four alternatives total,” Gant said. “The parts can be mixed and matched sort of like a menu.”
The “Off Alignment” alternative would bring US 395 behind the Wal-Mart near Los Altos Parkway and would have on-ramps near Disc Drive, once it has been extended. The “On Alignment” combines alternatives two and four and features an interchange at Sparks Boulevard. The “Ridge Alignment” follows the idea of the “Off Alignment” only the road will go west over the hilltop sooner to improve visual aspects.
“These are very long range plans,” Maloy said. “We’re looking into 2035 traffic conditions so we are still very early in the planning stages.”
Maloy predicts construction could begin in 2018, but is all subject to the approval of the plan by the RTC Board of Commissioners. An early estimate of the cost of the federally funded project are about $700 million.