At the RTC’s fifth annual media luncheon on Wednesday, interim executive director Derek Morse explained that these projects hinge on vital funding from the voter-approved RTC-5 fuel tax. Gov. Jim Gibbons, however, recently vetoed SB 201, intended to implement RTC-5, and the bill is back at the Legislature, Morse said. Now the RTC is counting on legislators to push for an override.
“One of the things I’ve learned over time is no matter how strong a position you think you may have, how obvious it might be ... it’s a tough thing for the legislators to do and really needs support from the public,” Morse said.
In Sparks, the project that would benefit most from this undertaking is the widening of Vista Boulevard, which project manager Doug Maloy said is “on the verge of failure” in terms of traffic congestion.
Vista, built in the 1980s, was a dirt road that virtually led into a dead-end in Wingfield Springs, Maloy said. Since that time, it has been expanded into four lanes east of Wingfield. Community growth over time made has proven the the road to be obsolete and subject to gridlock.
“Traffic is backed up considerably,” Maloy said, adding that the existing lanes will be reconstructed and serve as southbound lanes and the RTC will construct four new northbound lanes from a half-mile north of North Los Altos Parkway to Wingfield Parkway, for a total of 2 miles.
To be added is a new traffic signal at the Wingfield Hills intersection along with medians, curbs and gutters and a pedestrian path. Although the city installed a signal in 2007, it is currently useful for only one left turn lane and will also need to be upgraded to accommodate a dual left turn.
The Vista project is estimated at $15 million.
If the project proceeds as planned, by the end of summer 2010, motorists will enjoy much needed relief along Vista. The design is 90 percent complete.
All 41 projects together will cost about $200 million. Most projects will take place in Reno, including the Interstate 580 and Meadowood complex in Reno, in which Meadowood Mall Way would be extended to Kietzke Lane and new freeway ramps would be built to and from the north.
“It will make everyone’s lives better in terms of congestion,” Morse said.
He added the projects will also infuse the community with about 3,000 jobs in the first year alone.
“This is continuing; this is not just a one-shot stimulus,” he said. “The money will get into the pockets of construction workers. They will be able to spend that money on lots of things, everything from cups of coffee to perhaps buying homes in the community — stability in lives that will be able to count on the future.”