September 10, 2020

Cortez Masto Applauds USDOT Grant of $23 Million for Pyramid Highway Project

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today announced a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) BUILD grant award of $23 million to fund construction on the Pyramid Highway Project in Washoe County, Nevada. This project, directed by the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC), is intended to connect Pyramid Highway to U.S. Route 395, as well as include other improvements to reduce traffic, and improve safety.                             

“I’m extremely pleased to see the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area receive these funds to increase safety, improve mobility, and incorporate technology on a critical transportation corridor,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “The busiest road in the area, Pyramid Highway carries almost 50,000 cars a day and links growing rural communities to Reno’s center. This extensive federal support will benefit the entire community by reducing accidents and congestion, creating good paying jobs, and stimulating the local economy. I continue to work at the federal level to get the RTC, and Nevada, every support in transportation infrastructure investments that pay off now and into the future.” 

“This project will improve safety and mobility on Pyramid Highway, the most heavily traveled, highest crash regional road in the Reno-Sparks area,” said Bill Thomas, RTC Executive Director. “With the rapid growth we are experiencing in the region and more than 50,000 cars per day traveling in this corridor, we are very pleased to receive the BUILD grant award for this project. The project will be delivered in partnership with the Nevada Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, in collaboration with Washoe County, the City of Sparks, the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, and other regional stakeholders. Our sincere thanks to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Senator Cortez Masto, and the support of our hard working Nevada Congressional leaders.”

BACKGROUND:

The Pyramid Highway project will improve 2.4 miles of Pyramid Highway by converting approximately 1.6 miles from Queen Way to Los Altos Parkway from four lanes to six lanes. It will also reconstruct nearly a mile of existing four-lane roadway from Los Altos Parkway to Golden View Drive. The project will install smart traffic signals, widen the median, shoulders, bike lanes, and sidewalks, and include enhanced drainage and storm water infrastructure.

Senator Cortez Masto led a letter, with Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Congressman Mark Amodei (R-NV-02), to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao in March of 2020, urging her to support the Pyramid Highway Project. This award for the state of Nevada is funded by the Department of Transportation’s BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grant program, which allows the DOT to invest in road, rail, transit, and port projects that improve Nevada’s economy and infrastructure. 

As part of Senator Cortez Masto’s Innovation State Initiative, she has consistently advocated for robust annual appropriation funding for the BUILD program (previously known as the TIGER program), to help fund new and creative transportation solutions in Nevada. In 2020 alone, she has also been instrumental in securing transportation grants throughout the state of Nevada, including $50 million for improvements to I-15 in Las Vegas, $4 million to upgrade Washoe County’s public bus fleet, $3.8 million to reduce public transit emissions in Southern Nevada, and over $160 million in funding under the CARES Act to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on public transportation.

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