Carson City Bypass between Lake Tahoe and Reno opens
BYPASS BY THE NUMBERS
- The bypass itself runs a total of just under 10 miles from the Washoe County line at Lakeview Hill to the Spooner Junction, north of the Douglas County line.
- Nearly six million cubic yards of earth were moved, 18 million pounds of reinforcing steel installed and more than $200 million in federal, state and local transportation funds dedicated to construct the freeway
- Contractors used 91,650 cubic yards of concrete and 306,765 tons of asphalt to build it.
- They excavated nearly 3.5 million cubic yards of dirt. The bridges, sound walls and other structures used some 18 million pounds of steel.
- NDOT estimates 43,000 vehicles daily are projected to use the new southern section of freeway by 2035.
- The idea was first conceived in the 1960s to relieve traffic congestion.
- In December 2015, part of the freeway was dedicated as the Carson City Deputy Sheriff Carl Howell Memorial Freeway, in honor of the law enforcement officer who was killed in the line of duty.
To drive on a newly-paved freeway Wednesday morning was a triumphant moment locals have been waiting for— the last leg of the Carson City bypass is officially open.
When the first few drivers entered, the acceleration was slower than average for a freeway, as the southern three miles of I-580 became an unfamiliar route for regular morning commutes. This section was under construction since June 2015.
Exit ramps on Fairview Drive were opened later that afternoon for freeway access.
The Nevada Appeal observed from Fairview Bridge for an hour, to capture the grand opening moment of a project the city put 40 years of effort into planning.
Prior to construction of I-580, Nevada was one of only a few states without an interstate connecting to the capital city. Since breaking ground in 2000, construction of the approximately nine-mile I-580 Carson City Freeway has been phased to best use available funding.
Traffic patterns are bound to change not only because of convenience, but for locals who just want to casually cruise the new freeway as well.