Odds are, Douglas bypass will not happen

This editorial appeared in Wednesday’s Record-Courier:

It would take more than a bypass to slow down flash floods from the Pine Nuts into Carson Valley, but the accompanying flood control structures would be a welcome diversion.

On Sunday, the Nevada Appeal reported the work on the Carson City bypass helped alleviate flooding in the capital.

Like a Johnson Lane house downstream from a new development, the bypass will mostly drop its torrent of traffic onto Highway 395, where it will pool and overflow into Douglas County.

We would love to see a connection that brought the bypass down the east side of Carson Valley where it would eventually hook up to Highway 395. But with a $268 million price tag and a shrinking revenue source for highway construction, we’ll be lucky to see improvements where Highway 395 and Interstate 580 meet in southern Carson City.

Those improvements are supposed to include widening of Highway 395 to six lanes south into the Valley, and the possibility of limited access intersections for Stephanie Way, Johnson Lane, Airport Road and Muller Lane.

Lucky doesn’t quite cover the odds of a bypass going along the east Valley.

Those would be better described in terms reserved for lottery wins and meteorite-related deaths.

Douglas County doesn’t have quite the pull the state capital does. Even if it did, Las Vegas lawmakers are already looking askance at the I-580 work, and wondering aloud just how many people it really serves.

Competition for those highway dollars will be fiercer in the future, reducing the likelihood Douglas will be taken seriously when seeking new highways.


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