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Standley White

Reno road projects wrap up for the holidays

By November 27, 2012

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With the completion of several projects, Reno motorists are finally getting some relief from months of construction-related detours and traffic snarls.

Meadowood Mall Way interchange in Reno, Nevada, NV
Meadowood Mall Way interchange just before opening. Photo © Stan White.

Meadowood Mall Way interchange - This new interchange is designed to improve access to its namesake shopping center and relieve congestion around the Reno's busiest intersection at S. McCarran Boulevard and S. Virginia Street. Drivers can now exit U.S. 395 / I580 and drive directly into the mall. The interchange also provides access to Kietzke Lane and S. Virginia Street. A few blocks to the south, Neil Road access to the freeway was eliminated. There are now frontage roads from Neil Road to Meadowood Mall Way, providing another way to negotiate this busy area.

Moana Lane - The project widened Moana Lane from S. Virginia Street to the U.S. 395 / I580 freeway. The culmination came with the opening of a diverging diamond interchange (DDI) at the freeway intersection. The design, the first of its type in Nevada, allows for a freer flow of traffic, reduces congestion, and is safer. Because it is somewhat counterintuitive and unfamiliar to most Reno drivers, I suggest you read and watch the video demo on "How to Drive the Moana Lane Diverging Diamond Interchange" from the Nevada Department of Transportation.

S. McCarran Boulevard - Finishing in October, 2012, this project replaced crumbling pavement, widened the street, and improved intersections from S. Virginia Street east to Mira Loma Drive. I live in this area and it was a real pain while construction was underway. Now, however, it's smooth sailing with extra traffic lanes and vastly improved flow through the busy intersections.

U.S. 395 / I580 freeway to Carson City - After years of on-again, off-again construction, this 8.5 mile stretch of freeway finally opened in August, 2012. It takes drivers from the Mt. Rose Highway all the way to Carson City, bypassing the dangerous bottleneck through Pleasant Valley and Washoe Valley (there have been numerous fatal accidents on the old route). The new road also has panoramic views across Washoe Valley and takes drivers over the spectacular Galena Creek Bridge. If high bridges make you nervous, fear not - it was built to discourage gawking, so it's difficult to tell when you are actually driving over it.

This would be a good time to review another relatively new traffic control feature in Reno. The "Flashing Yellow Arrows at Reno Traffic Lights" let motorists turn left, when it is safe to do so, without sitting and waiting for the next green arrow. Read my article for more details.

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