STATEMENT OF JEAN RICE
FIELD REPRESENTATIVE FOR HON. JIM GIBBONS
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE FROM NEVADA
ISTEA Reauthorization
March 28, 1997

Good morning, Mr. Chairman, and Senator Reid. It is an honor to be here on behalf of my boss, Congressman Gibbons. He regrets that he cannot be here this morning. However, I would like to submit the following policy recommendations and projects for inclusion in the authorization of ISTEA.

The first one is U.S. 395, Carson City bypass. The project's total cost is $150 million of which $67 million is anticipated to be Federally funded. The scope of this project is the southern 5.2 miles of a freeway bypass around Carson City. This is the relocation of U.S. 395, which is now Carson City's main street to a corridor through the east side of Carson City.

Travel time from congested areas are significantly reduced. The traffic count on the narrow four-lane street in front of Nevada's State House is 35,000 vehicles a day, with a high percentage of big trucks. This is the only route from South Lake Tahoe, Douglas County and California on the east side of the Sahara Nevada Mountains to the Reno metropolitan area and the important Reno-Tahoe Airport. I join the Nevada Department of Transportation, Carson City and Douglas County in supporting this important project.

-- The I-580 Extension -- the total cost of this project is $190 million of which $170 million is anticipated to be Federally funded.

-- The public transportation project in Reno -- on behalf of the RTC of the Washoe County in Reno, I am submitting a request for funding authorization of $17 plus million for public transportation projects in Reno, Nevada. This funding will allow the implementation of the automatic vehicular location and enhance communication technology. The purchase of 27 vehicles for expanded service to the community and the renovation expansion of three RTC facilities.

-- U.S. Highway 95 widening in Las Vegas -- U.S. Highway 95 between downtown Las Vegas and the rapidly growing northwest portion of the Las Vegas Valley is the most congested freeway in Nevada. A major investment study is in the final stages for a $300 million widening of U.S. 95 from the current six lanes to 10 lanes. Although the construction for this project lays in the district of the senior member of the Nevada delegation, John Ensign, it will offer much needed relief to my constituents as they commute to the inner city of Las Vegas. I join Congressman Ensign in support of this important project.

-- The lane widening between Interstate 15 between Barstow, California, and Victorville, California -- I support the project sponsored by Congressman Jerry Lewis to widen Interstate 15 between Barstow and Victorville, California, from four to six lanes.

-- The project involving the City of Reno and the Union Pacific-Southern Pacific Railroad -- this will service notice that the City of Reno and the Union Pacific-Southern Pacific Railroad have mutually agreed in principle to construct and improve the transportation infrastructure within the cities of Reno and the Truckee Windows Basin on northern Nevada in an effort to mitigate the potential adverse impacts of public health, safety and environment that may be occasioned by the recently approved UPSP merger. The exact scope and details of this project are still being determined. At this juncture it is evident that the railroad right-of-way and the two U.S. highways will be intricately involved in the transportation improvement projects, creating a corridor of safe and efficient multi-module transportation for freight and passengers, as well as improved safety for pedestrian and vehicular crossing.