The Pyramid/395 project began with a study in 1998 because of concerns of increased traffic on Pyramid Highway due to the increased population in Spanish Springs and Sun Valley.
Construction on the federally funded, $700 million project is likely on hold until 2018 while alternatives are discussed.
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), which will be the topic of study Wednesday and Thursday, addressed the remaining alternatives after a five-year process of working with the surrounding community to develop the DEIS.
The project will address traffic congestion on Pyramid Highway from Queen Way to Calle de la Plata in Sparks. Four main alternatives, which have several alternatives stemming from them once the process is narrowed down, have been identified by the RTC in cooperation with the Nevada Department of Transportation. In brief, the alternatives are as follows:
•Alternative 1 would be off alignment just west of Pyramid Highway between the US 395 Connector and Highland Ranch Parkway. This alignment would be just below the ridgeline of the mountains, west of Walmart.
•Alternative 2 would be an alignment following Pyramid Highway between the US 395 Connector and Sparks Boulevard/Highland Ranch Parkway. This alignment would include a six-lane freeway cross-section between Disc Drive and US 395.
•Alternative 3 would be an alignment along the ridgeline of the mountains between the US 395 Connector and Highland Ranch Parkway. This alignment would include a directional interchange at the extension of Disc Drive and a directional system interchange with Pyramid Highway south of Sparks Boulevard/Highland
Ranch Parkway and would have the typical six-lane freeway cross-section.
•Alternative 4 would be an alignment following the existing Pyramid Highway between the US 395 Connector and Sparks Boulevard/Highland Ranch Parkway. This alignment would include a six-lane freeway cross-section between Disc Drive and US 395.
Maloy said the current alternatives have already come into questioning from the residents of Sun Valley and Spanish Springs. Maloy said the questions thus far have been largely about home impacts.
“The mailing distribution is well beyond the limits of the projects,” Maloy said. “There are folks who would receive notices to go to the meeting but wouldn’t necessarily be directly affected by the improvements.
“(The final alternative) will be exactly defined once an option is chosen and design is more complete. Right now in the DEIS we have identified the numbers of properties that will be affected that could potentially need to be acquired and relocated. It is defined in the document based on the alternative.”
The potential number of impacted homes for Alternative 1-4 are 210, 326, 269 and 254, respectively. The RTC projects more than 400,000 vehicle hours and more than 17.7 million miles will be traveled on any of the four alternatives.
For more information about the DEIS for the Pyramid Highway/US 395 Connection project, visit www.pyramidus395connection.com.
The DEIS is available through the RTC website at www.rtcwashoe.com/section-hot-topics.
The public comment period for the DEIS will remain open until November 12.