RENO, NV - When you drive around south Reno next year, you'll be seeing new landscape and artwork. However, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) needs your feedback on what they will be.
Five interchanges along I-580 including Neil Road, South Virginia and Patriot Blvd., South Meadows Parkway, Damonte Ranch Parkway and South Virginia near the Summit mall will be getting makeovers come winter. NDOT held a public meeting Tuesday night to get feedback on how residents want to be represented.
"We want to show what this community is all about," said Lucy Joyce, NDOT landscape supervisor.
New landscaping and artwork will help represent each of those communities.
"It can really help enhance and define our community not just for our own communities, but also for tourism and economic development, for people who want to come visit or relocate to a city of Reno, which is so important for a tourism based economy," said Meg Ragonese of NDOT.
The proposed designs and beautification projects also try to reflect each community's history and culture.
"The history of this area is ranching," Joyce said. "It's the dude ranches that were here during the early 1940s when people came to Nevada for divorces."
At the I-50 interchange near the Summit mall, the theme for the area is plowing and farming. Metal cut designs will be mounted on the underpass--that construction will begin in the winter of 2015.
Currently, funding for construction is only available for that project; the other four interchanges will have to wait.
NDOT is only allotted 3% of construction costs for landscaping and aesthetics, but that's still $2 million dollars this year. Locals like the idea of making their city look economically viable for other visitors.
"It establishes a sense of place for the freeway itself," said Dale Doerr, a Hidden Valley resident. "Phoenix has done a good job, Vegas has done a great job and Reno with I-80 and 395 look wonderful."
"When you start to upgrade the level of the community and the aesthetics, citizens become more involved and the aesthetics go down substantially and that's a cost savings," said Joyce.
The public can send in comments up until 5 p.m. on July 1.