During the annual visit to the county commission meeting July 17, Sondra Rosenberg, Nevada Department of Transportation Southern District Assistant Director for Planning, outlined the 2017 work program and the long range plan for 2018.

She asked what were the top two priorities in the county as seen by the commissioners and also asked that they approve the work plan that was being presented by NDOT.

A summary of the statewide issues in rural counties she mentioned are passing lanes, wild horses, burros, wildlife and cattle, intersections and shoulder widening.

She presented a chart showing that since 2007, according to NDOT figures, 46.6 percent, nearly half, of all vehicle crashes in Lincoln County have been wildlife related. She did not have a breakdown of what percentage were deer and/or elk, or what percentage were wild horses or cattle.

At present, Rosenberg said, NDOT is trying to create “a more comprehensive interactive tool called One Nevada Plan which would be online where a person could go for information about the various transportation plans around the state. A lot more transparent for everyone to see, and it allows project decisions to be understood within the context of the state’s overall performance and what are certain performance measures that are dictated by the federal government.”

Looking at the 2017 projects in Lincoln County, NDOT recently completed an improvement of roadway and pedestrian facilities along U.S. 93.

The Meadow Valley Wash Bridge, going into Caliente, is scheduled for improvement in 2018, also the railroad signal and crossing approaches in Caliente and a chip seal project on State Route 371.

The top concerns NDOT had complied in the workshops on Lincoln County projects included roadway improvements on SR 319, the road from Panaca to Utah, SR 322 going out to Eagle Valley, and drainage issues on SR 317 close to Kershaw-Ryan State Park, with improvements on 319 and 322 being the top two priorities.

However, after further discussions, commissioners replaced improvements on SR 322 for work on “Pin Ball Alley” south of Alamo on U.S. 93, and chose SR 319 from Panaca to Utah as the other priority.

Work on 319 is needed because of the damage done by the heavy-hauling trucks going that way when the I-15 freeway is closed through the Virgin Valley Gorge to loads wider than 10 feet.

Rosenberg said she recently received a report asking what needs to be done to assure those alternate routes are able to handle the increased load on the road surface, but did not say what the plans might be.

The NDOT annual work program for U.S. 93 in the county has an estimated budget just under $2 million.