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Construction begins on Union Plaza project in Tonopah

Updated June 8, 2023 - 10:01 am

In 2021, Nye County was awarded a $350,000 Community Development Block Grant to fund the renovation of major parking lots in Tonopah and though it has taken two years, the project is now officially underway.

However, rather than three parking lots seeing upgrades, the town has narrowed its focus due to the cost. Initially, the project was to include two parking lots for the Tonopah Convention Center along with the parking lot at Union Plaza but Tonopah Town Manager Joe Westerlund reported that only the lot at Union Plaza will undergo improvements.

“This is the only one that will be redone as the bids came in too high,” Westerlund told the Times-Bonanza this week. Tonopah Town Administrative Supervisor Becky Braska said the total to complete the Union Plaza renovation comes to $405,424.

Regardless of the need to scale back, Westerlund and other town and county officials are very excited to see the Union Plaza parking lot revamped.

Westerlund updated commissioners about the project on June 6, ahead of the Wednesday groundbreaking.

“It was funded with the CDBG grant we got, we really appreciate that. It’s going to be upgraded lighting, we’re going to remove the old asphalt and put in 6-inch concrete. It’ll be striped, we’re going to have handicap parking, we’ll have parking bumpers. There will be signage in there for everything. We’re going to have, I believe, six concrete picnic tables, two of which will be handicap accessible. I think it’s going to be a huge upgrade to downtown.”

As previously detailed by Braska, the Union Plaza parking lot is located at 103 N. Main Street in downtown Tonopah, in the Main Street District, and it serves as regular parking for many of the area businesses. The lot serves more functions than just parking, Braska reported, noting that it’s also a popular spot for local events, acting as a venue for various activities such as some of those that occur during the town’s largest annual gathering, Jim Butler Days. The condition of the parking lot was far from ideal, though, with safety concerns at the forefront of the reasoning behind the project.

McSharry Construction, a Las Vegas-based company, was selected as the primary contractor. Subcontractors will also be on the project, with Bishop-based Clair Concrete undertaking the concrete work and Las Vegas-based Value Electric handling the electrical.

If the weather holds, Braska said the project should be finished in just a few weeks, around the end of June.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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