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County awards chip seal contract

TONOPAH — Nye County commissioners Tuesday awarded a $628,308 contract to Wulfenstein Construction to chip seal 15.4 miles of roads in Pahrump.

Wulfenstein submitted the lowest of three bids ranging up to $818,007. The company has 10 days to begin work after the notice to proceed. The county will take $500,000 from Payment Equal to Taxes and the rest from road funds.

Commissioners also accepted a bid of $83,668 from Performance Concrete LLC for phase three of the Main Street sidewalk reconstruction project in Tonopah. The work includes removing existing sidewalks and reconstructing them, constructing handrails and cross drainage, which will bring the sidewalks into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Nevada Department of Transportation officials were at the meeting presenting their 2015 work plan. The plan allocates $1.175 million to construct a roundabout at Highway 372 and Pahrump Valley Boulevard and another $735,000 for a roundabout at Highway 372 and Blagg Road, but those aren’t scheduled until 2016. Likewise a $4.2 million allocation to widen the patch of Highway 160 between Homestead Road and Calvada Boulevard was moved up to 2016.

NDOT took up Commissioner Butch Borasky on his request for a workshop on roundabouts, that’s tentatively planned for February. NDOT will pick up the cost except for the acquisition of right-of-way, NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon said.

The work plan includes a combined $21.7 million in projects to widen the shoulders and flatten the slope for sections of Highway 95 including from 15 miles south of the turnoff to Scotty’s Castle to the Esmeralda County line and from six miles north of Jackass Flat Road to 20 miles north of the Beatty NDOT maintenance station, through the work through Amargosa Valley is listed as a long range element, meaning it’s at least five years out with no funding yet identified.

NDOT allocated $218,538 to chip seal 8.8 miles of Highway 374 from the California state line to Beatty and $274,530 to chip seal 12 miles of Scotty’s Castle Road from the Esmeralda County line to Highway 95.

Commissioner Dan Schinhofen said the county is attempting, through the governor’s working group on the proposed uranium 233 shipments to the Nevada National Security Site, to get the U.S. Department of Energy to fund shoulder improvements on Highway 160 all the way to Highway 95 as mitigation.

Two major projects were listed on the work plan for the first time with dollar estimates: the widening of the remaining 7.5 miles of Highway 160 from Homestead Road south to the Clark County line, estimated to cost $51 million and $30 million for repairing shoulders on 27 miles of Highway 160 from Basin Road to the junction of Highway 95, both of those are long range elements, which mean they’re at least five years out with no funding source identified.

Commissioner Donna Cox wanted shoulder improvements on Highway 160 quickly, she said that road north of Pahrump is a very dangerous area where some residents have been killed.

“When you run off that road and you’re doing the speed limit you roll,” Cox said. “I would like to see that moved up on your agenda for safety sake. I worry every time people have to go back and forth, they go back and forth daily to the test site on that road.”

Malfabon said NDOT placed cold millings from construction projects on the side of Highway 160 to stabilize the area north of Pahrump, which has experienced frequent washouts during storms. He told commissioners, “it is something we will keep an eye on and we recognize your desire to do something.”

NDOT safety engineers are considering a request for a crosswalk on Highway 160 at the Saddle West Hotel and Casino, he said. Cox said she’d like to see street lighting all along Highway 160 through Pahrump.

Malfabon said Public Works Director Dave Fanning talked about a beltway around Pahrump, which is in the Pahrump master plan, he added it would be a major expense but NDOT could study it, beginning with a feasibility study.

Malfabon said NDOT is wrapping up environmental studies on widening Highway 160 over Mountain Springs Summit in Clark County, that project will begin with the widening of the section west from the Red Rock Turnoff.

County Commissioner Lorinda Wichman said she expects to get the last file of minor roads in the county inventory to NDOT by this summer, a $350,000 project that’s taken six years.

Malfabon said his department is operating under a transportation bill that expires Sept. 30, which requires Congress to pass a new bill or funding will be cut to the states. A couple of major projects that include state funds won’t be affected by a pending deficit in the federal gas tax, like studies on the Interstate 11 projects in Boulder City and widening Interstate 15 in Las Vegas, he said.

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