RENO — Motorists who drive Interstate 80 should be aware that traveling will become more complicated in the next five months.
The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) will change the traffic configuration to two lanes each way and reduce the speed limit to 55 mph from Keystone to Wells avenues beginning the weekend of Feb. 10 as they begin a project to replace deteriorating concrete in the roadway.
Beginning March 2, traffic will be reduced to two lanes each way from Wells Avenue to Fourth Street.
The fair weather prompted NDOT officials to go ahead earlier with a five-month construction project to replace aging concrete along the stretch of interstate in order to finish before the fall, said NDOT spokesman Scott Magruder.
“We said, ‘It’s good weather, let’s do it,’” Magruder said.
NDOT asks motorists to pay careful attention while driving in the multiple construction zones along U.S. 395 and I-80. The disruption in traffic patterns, the closure of several on and off ramps and the reduction in the speed limit can easily result in accidents in the construction zone, Magruder said.
“We’re asking motorists to slow down to 55, and to give enough room to motorists around them,” he said. “Going more than 55 in this zone really won’t save you that much time. We want people to slow down.”
Also beginning Feb. 10, eastbound Wells Avenue on and off ramps will be closed 24 hours a day, seven days a week for five months. On March 2, the eastbound Fourth Strteet off ramp and the westbound Fourth Street on ramp will be closed 24 hours a day, seven days a week for five months.
Motorists will be encouraged to take alternative routes, such as Wells Avenue south to Sixth Street and east to Fourth Street. If drivers are headed to the closed eastbound Wells Avenue off ramp, they will be encouraged to take the Sierra Street exit south to Sixth Street.
Detailed maps are available on the project website at www.KeepRenoSparksMoving.com.
The $72 million design-build project received approval to begin construction early Friday morning. The project team is beginning construction early in hopes of reducing traffic control during the special events season, Magruder said.
NDOT representatives met with several downtown associations, including the Wells Avenue Business Association, casinos, city organizations, law enforcement and medical officials and representatives of the Virginia Street Project.
The project includes pavement rehabilitation on 40-year-old concrete between Keystone Avenue and Fourth Street, and installing an Intelligent Transportation System, signing and striping, drainage, ramp improvements and landscaping enhancements on I-80 between Robb Drive and Vista Boulevard.
The project is expected to be complete in the fall, Magruder said.
For more information, visit www.KeepRenoSparksMoving.com, or call 775-352-5444.