Spaghetti Bowl Headaches Will be Worth it

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Construction on the Spaghetti Bowl is running full tilt and project managers are asking drivers to be careful now that the freeways are so crowded.

And you know if you've been near the Spaghetti Bowl lately, it can be downright dangerous.

And drivers need to pay attention.

Crews on I-80 and Highway 395 are working around the clock to finish the road project. In the meantime, they want drivers to pay attention and be patient.

Orange cones, big trucks and construction workers crowd the freeway 24 hours a day, working toward a 2005 deadline on the Spaghetti Bowl overhaul.

"Cost is about $53 million and we're about a third of the way through," says NDOT project manager Dave Titzel.

All the orange has many drivers seeing red.

"It's frustrating as heck, but you just have to deal with it," says Bob Summers of Sparks.

Says Doug McGaffey of Reno: "Take different routes so you don't get on the spaghetti bowl."

But project managers say the wait will be worth it.

Two additional bridges will be added and I-80 will be widened to reduce the bottleneck effect near exits.

"In addition to easing congestion in the Truckee Meadows, once the project is compete, it will also improve the safety of bridges like this with seismic retrofits,' says Titzel.

An added bonus - project managers say it will also beautify the landscape.

"It's getting an aesthetic treatment - a mountain motif along the walls so it will look good when we're done," he says.

But until then, drivers will have to deal with narrow lanes and constantly shifting work zones.

It's the trade-off for a freeway that's finally catching up to its flow.

For more details on the project . . .check www.renospaghetti The site is updated each week with information about road closures.

Another recommendation to cut down on your driving frustrations . . . leave early when possible so those delays on the road are easier to handle.

It helps to have a little breathing room between Point A and Point B as it looks like we'll be dealing with this for a couple more years.

Until 2005 at least.