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Recently awarded $25 million in federal funds for an inland port project, Nevada officials are planning the state’s first Infrastructure Summit slated for Sept. 30 in Las Vegas.
Ryan McInerney, director of communications and government affairs for Nevada Department of Transportation, told Transport Topics that “speakers and other details are still being confirmed” for the daylong session.
The summit will include panel discussions and breakout sessions. Earlier this year, Gov. Steve Sisolak appointed Nelson Araujo, who served two terms in the state assembly, as the state’s infrastructure adviser to shepherd the rollout of federal dollars to infrastructure projects.
“I am committed to using these once-in-a-generation infrastructure investments to rebuild our highways, roads and bridges, connect our communities, upgrade our water infrastructure, improve sustainable transportation and create thousands of good-paying jobs for hard-working Nevadans,” Sisolak stated Aug. 12 when announcing the summit.
Sisolak said it would be a gathering of community partners, stakeholders and officials from state and federal agencies to learn about the $4 billion in federal infrastructure funds coming to Nevada.
On Aug. 24, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited a site of a future inland port in Fernley, Nev., after a project there was awarded $25 million to create an inland port to improve the supply chain. The project calls for building a road and bridge connecting Interstate 80 to U.S. Highway 50. It will also expand capacity for dual access to rail lines to Union Pacific Railroad and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.
“What you see behind me may not look like much, but it has a fantastic future as an inland port, part of an industrial project in this fast-growing area of northern Nevada. The logistics connections that we’re going to make here with the highway improvements and the railway improvements are going to matter for supply chains, really that touch the entire country,” Buttigieg remarked.
The funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation under grants from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity program to accelerate the modernization of roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports and intermodal transportation. The Fernley grant will enable the completion of planning, environmental studies, engineering design and construction.
Buttigieg said the Fernley project will help support the creation of between 7,000 and 10,000 jobs over the next five years. Having an inland port there will expand the logistics capacity to move goods and lower shipping costs.
Update from Fernley, NV
With President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are funding more worthy projects through our RAISE program than ever before. We’re proud to award $25M to Fernley, NV, which will help create an "inland port" strengthening the region's role in our nation's supply chain.Posted by Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday, August 24, 2022
In addition, federal dollars will enable local road improvements with separated bike lines and better sidewalks near the Victory Logistics District industrial park there. Safety will also improve from a proposed extension to move traffic more efficiently and less with traffic congestion.
Nevada’s infrastructure is relatively newer than other states, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, which declared its bridge network as among the best in the nation in a 2018 infrastructure report card.
Most of the federal infrastructure funds are expected to be spent on the state’s 32,000 miles of roadways, which the ASCE rated as mostly being in fair condition.
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