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May 27, 2015

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Sandoval wants assurance Boulder City bypass not a ‘road to nowhere’

CARSON CITY — With limited funds, Gov. Brian Sandoval is concerned about making sure the Boulder City bypass doesn’t end up as a “road to nowhere.”

Transportation officials on Friday outlined the timetable for construction of the state’s three-mile portion of the road, with total cost estimated from $120 million to $150 million.

The bypass would connect U.S. 95 and the Boulder City bypass bridge.

Sandoval noted that there may be limited funds for the joint highway project between the state and local governments in Southern Nevada.

Rudy Malfabon, director of the state Transportation Department, assured Sandoval that “these efforts are not going to waste.”

At a meeting of the state Transportation Board on Monday, he said the bypass will be part of Interstate 11, a highway that would stretch from Mexico to Canada.

But state Controller Kim Wallin said she wanted to see an updated cost-benefit analysis of the project.

Project Manager Tony Lorenzi said there would still be a benefit, even if a second phase of the project is not completed. Work on the first phase should be completed in five years, he said.

Phase Two of the project calls for a toll road, but money collected from tolls would only cover about 25 percent of the cost of the road, Lorenzi said.

All of the rights-of-way for the state’s portion of the project has been acquired, but the total cost has not been determined. For instance, Lorenzi said, the state has valued 30.9 acres taken from the Railroad Pass casino at $2 million, but the business wants $12 million in damages.

The cost for rights-of-way for the first phase of the project are estimated at $20 million to $30 million.

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