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Constant Construction
by Garrett Valenzuela
Jun 20, 2012 | 1259 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Traffic was moving with little delay along the Interstate 80 and Route 395 interchange, also known as the Spaghetti Bowl, Wednesday afternoon.
Traffic was moving with little delay along the Interstate 80 and Route 395 interchange, also known as the Spaghetti Bowl, Wednesday afternoon.
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Construction continues along the I-80 corridor extending from Vista Boulevard in Sparks to the Robb Drive exit in Reno.
Construction continues along the I-80 corridor extending from Vista Boulevard in Sparks to the Robb Drive exit in Reno.
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RENO — Reno and Sparks drivers have been plagued with ongoing construction on Interstate 80 in the past year. The Nevada Department of Transportation is approaching the final stages of their two-year freeway project that has reduced I-80 to two lanes in high-traffic areas.

The I-80 Robb Drive to Vista Boulevard Design-Build Project (I-80 DB Project) is a multi-concept plan designed to rehabilitate concrete, improve operation and technologically enhance I-80. According to Scott Magruder, public information officer for NDOT, the project is moving forward at its projected pace and will be finished by the end of the year.

“We will probably have all of the concrete done in August,” he said. “We are replacing concrete that is more than 30 years old. It’s time for it to come out.”

Magruder said the majority of drivers’ speed reduction and visible road construction are caused by the replacing of concrete, which is a time consuming process to ensure the road’s stability.

The concrete of major components of the project, such as the widening of Virginia Street’s westbound off-ramp and widening of East McCarran Boulevard’s off-ramp, is a large part of the construction phase, but it is not the only improvement NDOT is focusing on.

“When the concrete is finished we still have more work to do to install the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS),” Magruder said. “This will give us web cams and dynamic message signs that allow us to update and improve travel times.”

Interstate 80 is receiving ITS improvements, new striping and signage from Robb Drive to Vista Boulevard, with several on-and-off-ramps receiving widening, storm drain system improvements or complete facelifts. Northbound Sparks Boulevard’s off-ramp to I-80 westbound will be made into a loop ramp, similar to the East McCarran Boulevard to I-80 on-ramp, to avoid oversize trucks from stacking up.

Upon its completion, the $70 million project will provide six lanes (three each direction) of freeway for drivers. Though the summer months provide the best weather, Magruder says construction can be hindered by special events happening in Reno and Sparks.

“It’s tough with special events like Hot August Nights, Street Vibrations, Reno Rodeo and things like that happening throughout the summer. We basically shut down during those weekends,” he said, adding that work is made up during non-peak and late-night hours.

Drivers are able to stay updated on the progress of the project, road and ramp closures and the amount of traffic in areas of construction through www.keeprenosparksmoving.com.
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