I-580 nears completion; another slide stalls U.S. 50 repair near Kyburz
As summer construction heats up around the lake, projects on major roadways bringing vehicles in and out of the Tahoe Basin are progressing as well. The Carson City Freeway (Interstate 580) project is now 85 percent complete, according to Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) spokeswoman Meg Ragonese. The first phase of the project began back in 2013 and included the widening of U.S. 395 in the northbound direction for an additional truck-climbing lane. After connecting I-580 into U.S. 395 near Bonanza Road in north Carson, the freeway continued on a new alignment to its intersection with U.S. 50 East. This was completed in 2014. Phase two of the I-580 project, which is currently underway, includes the addition of the remaining 4.9 miles of four-lane freeway from U.S. 50 East to the southern connection of U.S. 50 West at Spooner Junction. Ragonese said the final leg of the project is expected to wrap up in early August. At present, U.S. 50 is reduced to one lane in each direction as it nears Carson Street. "We will do the final paving and striping on that section of U.S. 50 and reopen the lanes when the new freeway is done," said Ragonese. When the freeway opens, there will be a traffic signal at the intersection of I-580, U.S. 50 West and Carson Street, but in future years there are plans in place for an overpass. "If funding becomes available, we would build that bridge taking I-580 traffic over South Carson Street and traveling up U.S. 50 to Lake Tahoe," explained Ragonese. But for now, the completion of I-580 is expected to take five to 10 minutes off the drive through Carson City, said Ragonese, as well as reduce traffic congestion in the capital. "It's going to really help improve safety and mobility throughout the region," she added. ANOTHER SLIDE ON U.S. 50 Work has been delayed on two California sections of U.S. 50 coming into the basin that were damaged from mudslides during the winter months. A strip of the highway between White Hall and Kyburz was being repaired from slip outs and landslides over the winter when another landslide hit the area on Thursday, dumping 50 truckloads of new debris onto the westbound lane. One-lane traffic control with flaggers directing motorist through was in place during the day, but with the new slide, work will now be going on around the clock, according to Steve Nelson, Caltrans District 3 spokesman. "At least for the next couple of days," said Nelson, on Thursday, June 8. Farther east on U.S. 50, crews are working to stabilize a slope that caused the westbound lane near Bridal Veil Falls to collapse into a canyon in February. "We're building a 600-foot retaining wall," said Nelson. "We'd initially hoped to have it done before the big summer increase in traffic, but there were some difficulties drilling through the granite and getting down into the earth layer there." Caltrans hopes to have the work completed in August. Currently traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction near the construction site.