RTC Considering Road to Connect Sparks Area Directly to USA Parkway
A road to connect the Sparks area directly with USA Parkway could soon be in the works. The corridor would connect La Posada Drive in Sparks, down to I-80 near the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center.
A road to connect the Sparks area directly with USA Parkway could soon be in the works. The corridor would connect La Posada Drive in Sparks down to I-80 near the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC).
The idea comes amidst growing traffic congestion near the TRIC, due to the increase of jobs in that area as well as the booming population. Lee Gibson, Executive Director for the RTC says, "We're looking at more than doubling of traffic out to the TRI-center."
With more people flocking to the area, that traffic congestion is only going to get worse. Gibson explains, "What we see at Lemmon Drive and US-395 today, is what we may see, or will see, in the future at USA Parkway and I-80."
But, Gibson says the creation of this alignment road would be challenging for several reasons. First, RTC needs federal funding to pay for the majority of the project, which would cost roughly $390 million. Another hurdle is design; as you can see in the proposed map layout, the road would cut through an especially mountainous region, requiring plenty of cut and fill.
The construction would also require a land transfer from the Bureau of Land Management.
Several Sparks residents we spoke to said it would be worth it, considering the increased traffic in Sparks alone. Cheryl Brown, a long-time Sparks resident says, "We need some other ways in and out; it gets a little congested sometimes, and we really don't have a lot of accesses."
Workers near the TRIC also said it would ease their commute, adding that "something needs to be done about that freeway.'
However, this road actually coming to fruition could take around 20 years.
In the meantime, RTC and NDOT have some shorter-term solutions in their plans, like working to widen I-80 itself, and working on increasing carpooling options.
The RTC has already put in an application with the Federal Highway Administration to start looking at this corridor as a feasible option. They say they will ask for public input before moving forward.