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Standley White

Galena Creek Bridge and I-580 set to open

By July 25, 2012

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Galena Creek Bridge, I580, Reno to Carson City, Nevada, NV
Nearing completion, the Galena Creek Bridge is the signature structure on the new I-580 freeway link between Reno and Carson City, Nevada.
Photo taken June, 2012, © Stan White.

For nearly 10 years, travelers along U.S. 395 between Reno and Carson City have been watching the slow progress of the section of I-580 freeway linking the Mt. Rose Highway in south Reno and the Bowers Mansion cutoff in Washoe Valley. There have been some serious bumps in the road leading to a rather lengthy construction timeline, but that's about to end. According to the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), the bridges (there are nine of them) and 8.5 mile long section of freeway will open to traffic at the end of July or the first part of August, 2012. It's my understanding that the Bowers Mansion Interchange will not be finished when the rest of the freeway opens, so continue to watch for detour signs. For a well done, extensive review of the project, refer to NDOT's "I-580 Freeway Extension Project."

Of course, a celebration is in order. To that end, NDOT is sponsoring the "Rush to Washoe" on Saturday, July 28, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is invited to participate by running, walking, riding a bike, or driving along the new highway, including the Galena Creek Bridge. Here's the schedule...

  • 7 a.m. - Self-timed 5 and 10K Fun Run (northbound lanes only)
  • 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Bike Ride/Walk (northbound lanes only)
  • 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Open to Vehicles (southbound lanes only)
Motorists will be able to access the southbound lanes by either continuing south on the freeway where it currently ends or by taking an onramp from the Mt. Rose Highway. There will be signs directing walkers / runners / bike riders to a parking area.

About the Galena Creek Bridge - NDOT claims that the Galena Creek Bridge is the longest concrete cathedral arch bridge in the United States. According to the Fact Checker column in the Reno-Gazette Journal, that is a true statement. There bridges with longer concrete arch spans, but none in the cathedral style. For example, the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge at Hoover Dam is the longest concrete arch bridge in the country, but it is not cathedral arch like Galena Creek and therefore doesn't knock our local bridge out of the top spot.

Mike O'Callaghan - Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge at Hoover Dam
Mike O'Callaghan - Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge at Hoover Dam.
Photo © Stan White.

Source: Nevada Department of Transportation.

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