Sorry it has been so long everyone! We are still waiting on a determination. Every time we get a date it gets pushed back and now we are looking at about the end of March 2015 for the determination. Meanwhile, the Coalition has submitted the following letter to local, state and federal agencies in regards to a potential problem.
Dear Mayor Schieve and Reno City Council Members,
The Upper South East Communities Coalition (Coalition) would like to formally protest current actions by the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC). Starting on February 9th the RTC began Phase 2 of the McCarran Widening Project. This project is to widen McCarran to six lanes from Mira Loma to Greg St and to install new sound walls along McCarran from Longely Lane to about Pembroke Dr and include a multi-use path along the south side of McCarran;a project that is expected to take about a year and involves heavy equipment and scores of construction workers.
RTC has cleared/built a "stockpiling area" on Pembroke in or about in the location of the proposed Southeast Connector Rd. RTC is very aware that there has been no 404 permit issued for the Southeast Connector Road Project (SEC), in part, as there are significant numbers of Cultural Resource sites that are under review by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). SHPO has preliminarily determined that there are sites in the proposed SEC alignment that would be destroyed or damaged from construction of the SEC. As the public has not been given the location of these sites, we are very concerned that RTC, in taking advantage of a project that does not need federal review (The McCarran Widening Project), has damaged sites that are under federal review for another project (The Southeast Connector) in building this "stockpiling area" in the proposed alignment for the SEC!
RTC cannot claim that one project has nothing to do with the other. RTC has different project managers for each project but RTC management knows what is going on with both. To claim at this point that they "might not have been aware" of the Cultural sites is stretching the bounds of credibility. To "accidentally" do work in an area that is under federal review is not even remotely possible unless complete and utter incompetence is as work.
Last, RTC has placed this "stockpiling area" for the McCarran Widening Project (which is a major road construction/sound-wall/multi-use path project) on a small, two lane residential road. The McCarran Widening Project is a significant project that is expected to last almost a year and someone seems to have been genius enough to put the stock piling area for this extensive project on Pembroke! Pembroke is a small two land road that is not equipped to handle the heavy construction trucks that will be accessing Pembroke coming and going all day long. There are school bus stops on this road, the northern portion of Hidden Valley and Hidden Meadows uses this road for access to and from their homes, there are homes that have driveways onto this small road and Eastside Subdivision has exactly ONE way in, and ONE way out of their community and that access point is on Pembroke less than 70 feet from McCarran! This is sure to be blocked a good portion of the day with trucks trying to get back out onto McCarran.
A quick drive around the area reveals numerous areas where heavy construction truck traffic would have been more accommodating. There are any number of front pastures on McCarran at UNR Farms (which is right in the construction zone!). There are many empty lots on Corporate Drive (a commercial area). The flood project holds all kinds of unused property on Mill St. (a four lane road). The old Brookside Golf Course on Rock has significant empty space, etc. With little effort, a more appropriate site could have been found.
Do the right thing. Stop allowing RTC to use a site that is under federal review as a "stockpiling area" for another project. Move the stockpiling area to a more accessible site for heavy trucks. The existing site is not acceptable and should be relocated.
We will await your response.
The Upper South East Communities Coalition, Inc
Non-Profit - 501c3 - For the Protection of Open Space In Washoe County
Upper South East Communities Coalition Board of Directors
Kimberly Rhodemyre, Chair
Wayne Sievers, Vice Chair
Yvonne Nordmeyer, Secretary
Richard Odynski, Treasurer
Douglas Wachholz, Director
Eric Cole, Director
Winter King, Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger - Coalition Attorney
Joseph Petta, Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger - Coalition Attorney
Luke Andrew Busby Ltd, - Coalition Attorney
Kristine Hansen, Senior Project Manager, Army Corps of Engineers- Reno Field Office
Jessica Axsom, Review and Compliance Archaeologist - State Historic Preservation Office
Claudia Hanson, Planning and Housing Manager -City of Reno
John Flansberg, Public Works Director - City of Reno
Brenda Lee, Project Manager - McCarran Widening Project
Garth Oksol, Project Manager - Southeast Connector