Gravel pit concerns force officials to postpone Highway 160 remediation project

A road project for 13 miles of Highway 160 in north Pahrump has been delayed after Nye County commissioners postponed approval of two agreements with the construction company Road and Highway Builders.

At the Jan. 3 meeting in Tonopah, Commissioner John Koenig asked the board to postpone the road use and damage remediation agreement and the Basin Avenue gravel pit use agreement because the proposed location is “not approved use for the parcel without a waiver or zone change.”

County Planning Director Darrell Lacy said that it’s the only gravel pit that the county has under lease within the Pahrump Regional Planning District.

“This is a 13,000-acre parcel zoned BLM Reserve,” Lacy said. “For a permanent approval, we would need to rezone to industrial and get a conditional use permit. This parcel goes all the way to the racetrack and has multiple gravel pits, concrete batch plants and asphalt plants already on this parcel that are grandfathered. This gravel pit is grandfathered and has been in use for years.”

“For a temporary use, we (staff) feel the best approach is to grant a waiver from the requirements of the zoning code and put appropriate conditions of approval like time limits, follow all state and local codes like dust,” he said.

On Nov. 17, Road and Highway Builders asked Nye County for access to the county’s pit on Basin Avenue for the production of several road construction products.

The Sparks-based limited-liability company was the apparent low bidder on a Nevada Department of Transportation contract, according to the documents.

Road and Highway Builders will be awarded a $12.5-million contract by the NDOT to improve over 15 miles of Highway 160 from Basin Avenue to the area of Johnnie, the documents said.

Tim Carlo, director of the Nye County Department of Public Works hailed the proposed project “as beneficial.”

Carlo said under the plan, the company would make 12,000 tons of road base while using the pit and help with the remediation of some old asphalt that is in the pit, all of which would be at no cost to the county.

The area mentioned in the contract is located on Highway 160, from 0.5 miles north of East Basin Avenue to 13.5 miles north of Bell Vista Avenue, according to the documents.

Under the contract, approximately 45,000 cubic yards will be crushed to produce the aggregate base, shoulder material, plantmix surfacing, and open grade plantmix.

Lacy said commissioners could approve the contract but with the understanding that “the asphalt plant could not operate until proper approval for Title 17 of Nye County Code.”

“This can be the zone change, CUP (conditional use permit) or a waiver,” he said.

All necessary permits and pit reclamation will be Road and Highway Builders’ responsibility. The anticipated completion date is December 2017.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at On Twitter: @dariasokolova77