CARSON CITY FREEWAY
 

PROJECT PURPOSE

The purpose of this project is to construct a new freeway bypass around the city of Carson City. This will remove major traffic congestion from the downtown area and provide a better freeway link to the Tahoe region and Reno. This freeway is also part of the I-580 project to create a seamless freeway link from I-80 in Reno to US-50 south of Carson City.

PROJECT STATUS

Status Phases 1, 2a 2b-1 complete
Construction underway for phase 2b-2, phases 2b-3 and 2b-4 remain.
Estimated project completion 2015-2016

PROJECT BACKGROUND

US Highway 395 and US Highway 50 are the main routes that travels through Carson City between Reno, Tahoe, Minden, and Fallon. these routes are heavily traveled and place a large amount of traffic on Carson St through downtown. Parts of Carson Street have a posted speed of 25 and 35 miles per hour, and travel through the congested casino and capital districts of town create congestion and motorist and pedestrian safety issues. This has made downtown an unfriendly environment for pedestrian and drivers. The new freeway bypass a logical next step in addressing these problems and creating a faster and safer way to move traffic through the region while improving motorist and pedestrian safety downtown.

INTERSTATE 580

This project is also part of a plan to have an interstate quality freeway from Reno to Carson City. This corridor is part of the planned Interstate 580 Corridor.

PROJECT DETAILS

This project will take the freeway to the east of current US-395 to US-50 near Pinon Plaza. Then travel southward and eventually westward to meet up with the US-395/50 junction south of Carson City.

  • Phase 1; This section was completed in July 2006 and has two travel lanes in each direction from the Carson Valley Grade to US 50. Interchanges at Former US-395 (now NV-529), Arrowhead Dr, College Pkwy single point urban interchange (SPUI), and a SPUI at US-50.
  • Phase 2A; This section is completed and includes two travel lanes in each direction from US 50 to Fariview Drive. The partially completed SPUI interchange at US-50 will be completed, and a new interchange at Fairview Dr will be constructed.
  • Phase 2B; This section will be completed last and will also have two travel lanes in each direction. The remaining ramps interchange at Fairview Dr will be constructed and the southern interchange with Carson St will be constructed as a SPUI.
(Source: CCFreeway.com-NDOT)

VISIONS

This freeway has been needed for years, but one concern is that this freeway project is being constructed with a very limited right of way which makes widening the freeway at a later date difficult. And the freeway would not be able to be widened beyond 3 lanes in each direction without significant reconstruction and demolition and future right of way aquisition. Maybe planners do not see the need to expand the facility beyond a maximum buildout of 6-lanes, but should Carson City and surrounding areas see growth and increased traffic, which they likely will, there would be little room to expand if any.

In spite of this, the freeway is welcome to many commuters and travelers from Tahoe, Minden and Gardnerville, who will have a much better highway to use to get through the Carson Valley and make their way to/from Reno.

The southern interchange does address one issue. it does route southbound traffic heading to Tahoe directly onto US-50 westbound. This means that a seamless link to Tahoe from Reno will be made once the freeway projects are complete. This does mean however a break in the continuity of US-395 which will exit and enter the freeway mainline at the south interchange.



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