I got a letter from NDOT today, setting me straight on a few things I said when I was talking about the I-580 project the other day. I’ll just reprint the whole thing here, rather than trying to paraphrase it.
In response to the Tuesday, Jan. 9, posting “I-580 Construction Resumes,” I wanted to set the record straight regarding the following erroneous statement: “NDOT chose this particular alignment mostly because they were excited about the chance to build this bridge.” This is completely false.
This project is the last of six projects that built US-395 from Panther Valley, north of Reno, to the Carson City/Washoe County line. This overall project was conceived in 1957. Four of the six projects were constructed. The alignment proposed by NDOT for the remaining two projects, between the Bowers Mansion Highway north to South McCarran, was very contentious and not well accepted by the public. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, NDOT was required to prepare an environmental impact statement to comply with federal law. During this process alternate alignments were proposed and debated in public meetings. The final alignment, the “S” alignment, was the result of many compromises among the members of the public who would be affected by it.
The Nevada Department of Transportation did not choose the I-580 alignment. NDOT was only a cooperating participant, and the Department had actually recommended a route that was not only less expensive, but easier to construct.
Thank you or your time and consideration.
Public Information Officer
Nevada Department of Transportation