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Standley White

Reno road construction - the bad and the good

By September 8, 2012

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Be alert as you travel the roads around the Reno / Tahoe region. The weather has remained cooperative and construction season continues in Reno and throughout northern Nevada. Many of these projects are under the direction of the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), which provides more information about road projects throughout the area. Other projects are under the direction of the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT).

Major construction on S. McCarran Blvd. in Reno, Nevada, NV
Major construction on S. McCarran Blvd. in Reno, Nevada.
Image © Stan White

S. McCarran Blvd. - The widening and repaving of S. McCarran Blvd. (the ring road around Reno and Sparks) continues in southeast Reno. Right now, the stretch between Rio Poco Drive and Mira Loma Drive is a total mess. If you have to drive here, be prepared for lots of construction equipment, single lanes set off with orange cones, backed up traffic and delays. It's pretty bad, so avoid it if possible.

Moana Lane Widening - Moana Lane is a main on/off access point to the I580 / 395 freeway. To relieve congestion, the street is being widened for several blocks from Baker Lane on the west to the freeway on the east. It has just gotten worse here, with areas around the construction zone all backed up as well. Stay away or be prepared to sit in traffic for a long time. Another way to enter and exit the freeway is from Mill Street a short distance to the north.

I580 and Meadowood Interchange - This is Reno's busiest intersection, where S. Virginia St., Kietzke Lane, and the I580 / 395 freeway converge. This project is supposed to help smooth the flow of traffic, but not while it's being built.

I80 through Downtown Reno - This project is finally nearing completion. I drove through the area the other day and it is much improved over a few weeks ago. Most of the traffic lanes are now open as well as on / off ramps. There is still some construction activity, so stay alert when negotiating this section of I80.

I580 Now Open - The new stretch of I580 freeway between the Mt. Rose Highway and Washoe Valley is a wonderful thing. I've driven it in both directions and can testify that it is way easier and much faster than the old U.S. 395. Another plus is that you get some nice views out over Washoe Valley. Those with bridge phobia need not worry - the freeway is built so that you can't even tell when you drive over that big Galena Creek Bridge, though personally I wish they had made a way for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the bridge and enjoy the airy panorama from its heights.

People familiar with the Bay Area know that there is an I580 over there as well. How this can be was explained in a comment by John G. to my recent "I580 opens to traffic" blog post. Thanks to John for taking the time to share his road naming knowledge.

It's always a good idea to check road conditions before leaving home. For more information about motoring in the Reno area and throughout Nevada, check my hub of information on Reno Driving Times, Distances, Gas Prices, and the DMV.

Get more Reno / Tahoe information:

- Receive the Reno / Tahoe Newsletter.
- Speak up on the Reno / Tahoe Discussion Forum.
- Follow me on Twitter.

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