City of Nevada officials are considering changes to the construction on Sixth Street, which kicked off last month as part of the Nevada Central Business District Infrastructure Improvements Project.
Though the changes were announced on the city’s website and Facebook page, “really nothing has changed officially, right now,” according to Nevada building official Shawn Cole on Monday.
Nevada Mayor Brett Barker said on Wednesday the adjustments would “mitigate as much of the construction disruption as possible” to businesses already closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The intention right now, if all goes smoothly, is to time as much of the destruction of the street with what’s already happening with businesses,” Barker said. “If businesses, like the restaurants, are able to come back to normal in May, that might look different … What we don’t want to do is have folks sitting there impacted all summer because of COVID-19, and then next spring tear up their street.
“If we can do both at the same time, it would be the ideal scenario.”
The estimated $9 million project, which is locally funded, consists of reconstruction of streets, sidewalks, water main, sanitary sewer, streetscaping and street lighting on several Nevada streets and alleyways. The project will continue throughout this and next summer with an expected completion in November 2021.
However, if changes are made, phasing for the project will be adjusted to complete additional blocks of Sixth Street than what was originally planned. Cole said the official decision will be made sometime in May, when the current construction is complete and ready to move forward.
“We’ve agreed to look at our staging, once we get to a point where we can move,” Cole said. “When we get to that point where we can move, we will review that and see if we should continue on Sixth Street or follow the original plan.”
Barker said a lot of the decision will hinge on whether businesses are able to reopen at that time, and what the business owners think of the idea.
“We want to talk to the folks impacted in that block, and when the official decision is made it will be once the crews are ready to either start tearing concrete on that street or the alleys. In order to keep them busy, they’re gonna have to start construction on one or the other,” he said.
Currently, construction is taking place on phase one of the project, which involves two blocks on Sixth Street between I and J avenues, and J and K avenues. Once complete, phase two includes the reconstruction of alley pavement, water main and storm sewer in the North-South alleys from J Avenue to K Avenue, between Fifth and Sixth streets, and also between Sixth and Seventh streets.
The adjustments would postpone phase two, with construction instead continuing on Sixth Street south of Lincoln Highway, between the highway and K Avenue, which was originally included in phase five of the project. It would then move back to phase two and progress as planned, Cole said.
He also said there would be no change to the estimated timeline, and construction on Sixth Street would be estimated to end sometime in July.
“It wouldn’t affect (the timeline) a great deal. It would just mean that Sixth Street would be done so that people could park in front of the businesses, and then we would only be working on side streets,” Cole said.
Phase three, which is expected to complete this year, will involve construction on J Avenue between Fifth and Seventh Streets. Construction on phase four, which includes K Avenue from Fifth to Seventh streets, will possibly take place but will be determined in the fall.
The project will then kick off again in spring 2021 with construction on the following streets:Phase five: Sixth Street from Lincoln Highway to M AvenuePhase six: North-South alleys from K Avenue to Lincoln Highway between Fifth and Sixth streets, and also between Sixth and Seventh streetsPhase seven: Lincoln Highway between Fifth and Seventh streets
Barker said he is hopeful the changes will lessen the impact on businesses, which are already being affected by closures during the pandemic.
“This (project) is really important, with the underground infrastructure being centuries old,” Barker said. “Hopefully, we can just make it as easy on the businesses as possible. I think the timing, as unfortunate as it is, has actually made the street impact less than it would have been otherwise. Businesses were already having to adjust to the reality of the pandemic before we starting tearing concrete.”