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August 1, 2015

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In BC, stimulus money targeted for road repairs

Federal stimulus money coming to Boulder City will likely go toward road repair, so residents can expect to see more orange cones soon, city officials said.

Nevada should receive $1.47 billion of the nation’s $789 billion stimulus package, mostly to help the state pay for Medicaid and education.

About $210 million of Nevada’s share will fund highway construction projects that are “shovel-ready,” that have been designed, but lack money, Rudy Malfabon, Nevada Department of Transportation’s deputy director, said.

About 30 percent of the $210 million could go to municipalities through the Regional Transportation Commission, which will decide how much lands in Boulder City.

That chunk will help rebuild existing streets rather than building new ones, because the federal money comes with time limits and environmental restrictions, Scott Hansen, the city’s director of public works, said.

Hansen said he’s still prioritizing the a list of the neediest streets, but suggested Wyoming Street from Nevada Way to Utah Street, all of Utah, east Adams Boulevard and Nevada Way by the visitor’s center may be on the final list.

Those roads have heavy cracks that need more than repaving to be fixed, he said.

The city is currently rebuilding Eagle Drive, off Nevada Highway, and Elm Street from Nevada Highway to Buchanan Boulevard. Those projects should be completely done by next month, Hansen said.

The city last year tore up Elm Street to construct new underground water lines and storm drains.

The Boulder City Bypass, which is designed to take heavy traffic south of town instead of through it once the Hoover Dam bypass bridge opens, won’t qualify for the money because NDOT still doesn’t own the rights-of-ways for all of the bypass route, Malfabon, project director of the bypass, said.

Local leaders have pushed for several years for the Boulder City Bypass, arguing that when the dam bypass bridge opens next year, traffic through Boulder City will increase by at least 2,000 tractor trailers daily. Since Sept. 11, 2001, tractor-trailers have been banned from crossing Hoover Dam, forcing them to detour through Laughlin.

The bypass around Boulder City is not expected to be built until 2025 and only a fraction of the $500 million needed has been allocated,

The first phase, which runs by Railroad Pass into the Eldorado Valley, is fully designed, but NDOT doesn’t own the rights-of-ways yet, and won’t for another year and a half to three years, NDOT director Susan Martinovich said.

The first phase is 60 percent funded, she said.

Cassie Tomlin can be reached at 948-2073 or cassie.tomlin@hbcpub.com.

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