Kingsbury Grade reopens on Carson Valley side
January 18, 2017
Kingsbury Grade reopened Wednesday — faster than previously expected — following repairs to flood-related erosion, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) reported.
In December, a sinkhole formed where a drainage pipe crosses underneath the road at mile marker 4.3, approximately 10 miles up the road on the Carson Valley side, according to a press release. The road was temporarily repaired and reopened before recent flooding caused more extensive erosion to the road.
Contractor Q&D Construction excavated approximately 150 feet across and 50 feet below the road surface to completely remove and replace the eroded drainage pipe and then rebuild and repave the roadway. The process required clearing 7 feet of snow the previous week.
Earlier this week, NDOT officials said it could take several weeks to reopen the road — unwelcome news for those needing to travel between the Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe.
"Crews will be working as quickly and efficiently as possible to repair this section of Kingsbury Grade, but because some elements of the repair work are weather and temperature sensitive, there is no definite date set for reopening," NDOT spokeswoman Meg Ragonese said this past Monday.
While crews were able to open the road ahead of that timeline, this may not be the last of closures related to drainage issues.
As weather warms up and dries out in future months, additional drainage improvements may be needed along the same section of road, NDOT cautioned.
"We want drivers to be able to get safely where they need to go," NDOT District Engineer Thor Dyson explained in the press release. "Construction work took place 14 hours a day during the break between storms to make permanent repairs that weather didn't allow last time. We're glad to be able to reopen the road for all of those who rely on it to connect Tahoe and the Carson Valley."
In 2014, NDOT reconstructed a different section of Kingsbury Grade on the Lake Tahoe side, making improvements to roadway surface, drainage, curb and gutter and more.
The area of recent erosion is east of the reconstructed roadway, and not in the same area that was reconstructed. NDOT already has scheduled a project to invest approximately $5 million to enhance roadway drainage and erosion control on the Carson Valley section of Kingsbury Grade in 2019.
The section of road is traveled by approximately 5,600 vehicles daily.