State Route 342 Continues On Schedule; Local Company Wins First Phase Road Bid
Paving has commenced on the bypass portion of the realignment of State Route 342 (SR-342) and roadway should re-open timely for tourism season. Comstock Mining Inc. announced that Cruz Construction (“Cruz”) of Mound House won a competitive bidding process to complete the final portion of the first of three phases of road construction. Comstock Mining has managed most of the excavation and sealing of the historic Silver Hills mine shaft internally. Cruz will now provide the base rock, grading, asphalt and striping for the first phase of new road construction that enables the return of traffic onto the State Route. Cruz began work on Monday, May 11th, 2015, with a target completion date of approximately June 8th.
The first phase completion allows traffic to travel on the state route using a bypass while Comstock Mining begins the second phase of the project. The two phases will overlap for a short time. Cruz’s first week on the job was spent finishing the subgrade. They will then move on to installation of base rock and asphalt. On Thursday, May 14th, Comstock Mining began removing dump material from the south end of the historic waste dump in order to make room for the second phase. The second phase will result in an extended, realigned and newly constructed stretch of road.
Cruz Construction’s general manager Kale Peery stated, “We are proud and happy to work with Comstock Mining, NDOT and Storey County on this project. We are a local company that hires locally; uses local subcontractor’s and we buy our materials locally too.”
Ken Joy, Director of Mining and Processing, commented, “At this point we have been able to overcome a few small obstacles and stay well within our schedule. Much of this is due to the willingness of our mining personal to work overtime for this project.” Joy added, “We are pleased with Cruz Constructions qualifications and with their familiarity of the area.”
Nevada Department of Transportation’s engineering technician, Gary Johnson, has been observing the project throughout the process. NDOT and Storey County have remained close collaborators during the process to ensure construction meets state road standards.
NDOT closed SR-342 to vehicular traffic in early February following heavy rains that resulted in accelerated cracking and visible sinking of a portion of the road around a historic mining shaft. Extreme road collapses have occurred in the same location on four separate occasions beginning in 1965 and the latest happening in 2006. In early March, Comstock Mining agreed to complete a realignment of roadway over its property in full collaboration of NDOT and Storey County. This project is designed for a safer, more permanent solution funded by Comstock Mining.
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