Experience New I-580 Freeway Before it Opens

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RENO, Nev. -- Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) officials invite people in northern Nevada to help celebrate the opening of Interstate 580 by walking, running, or biking along the new freeway.

I-580 is in the long-awaited freeway connecting Reno and Carson City. The 8.5 mile stretch of interstate includes the Galena Creek Bridge, the longest concrete cathedral arch bridge in the country.

The "Rush to Washoe" event kicks off on July 28th at 7am when the freeway opens to bicyclists. Then at 7:30am, people on foot can start their self-timed 5 or 10k run/walk. Those events are in the northbound-lanes only. Sorry, no smoking or pets allowed.

Southbound lanes are open for vehicle traffic from 8am until 1pm.

The freeway officially opens to all vehicle traffic in mid-August.

Here are the specifics from NDOT:

The public is invited to join the Nevada Department of Transportation in celebrating the soon to open I-580 Freeway, Saturday, July 28, 2012. Activities start at 7 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m. with the opportunity to bike, walk, or run along the freeway, including the Galena Creek Bridge - the longest concrete cathedral arch bridge in the nation.
Motorists will have the opportunity to drive to the Galena Creek Bridge on the eight-and-a-half -mile freeway beginning at 8 a.m. and can access the southbound lanes of the new freeway from either the existing southbound I-580 freeway or the Mt. Rose Highway.
7 a.m. - 1 p.m. Bike Ride (northbound lanes only)
7:30 a.m. - FREE Self-Timed 5 and 10k Fun Run (northbound lanes only)
8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Open to Vehicles (southbound lanes only)
Things to know before you go:
· No smoking or pets allowed in the event area.
· Pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicle traffic/parking will be restricted to specified areas of the freeway - please obey posted speed limits and follow all traffic control signs and directions provided by event volunteers to help ensure the safety of all participants.
· Vehicle traffic will be one-way (southbound only) and restricted to a single lane. All vehicle traffic entering the freeway for this event must be prepared to travel the full length of the new freeway (8.5 miles) and exit at the Bowers Mansion Interchange - no exceptions.
· Do not expect to travel at freeway speeds! Posted speed limits for this event will range from 5 to 25 MPH depending on the locations (event and parking areas will have lower posted speed limits). Drivers should plan on the 8.5 mile drive taking a minimum of 1 hour with potentially longer travel times depending on event traffic volumes.
· Parking is limited and may be up to 4 miles from the primary event area depending on what time you arrive - so please plan accordingly. Handicapped parking has been set aside near the primary event area for those vehicles directing traffic to available parking at various points along the route.
· With the exception of booths at the Galena Creek Bridge, there are no shaded areas along the freeway, visitors are asked to plan accordingly (hats, sunglasses, and sunblock are recommended at a minimum).
· Distances and inclines/grades appear less than what they actually are - pedestrians and cyclists should pace themselves, stay well hydrated, and be aware of your physical limits to avoid overexertion and heat-related health hazards.
· Climbing, standing, and sitting on barrier rails is strictly prohibited - no view is worth potential injury.
· Comfortable walking/hiking footwear is highly recommended.
· Children should not be left unsupervised and should be monitored for signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration. Children will not be allowed onto the site unless accompanied by an adult.
· Don't forget your camera! There are plenty of wonderful vistas overlooking Pleasant and Washoe Valleys along the route, providing some great photo opportunities!
· Although water stations will be available at a various locations along the freeway, visitors are encouraged to be prepared and bring extra water - just in case.
How to get there:
Vehicle and pedestrian access is available only at the north end of the project (at the Mt. Rose Interchange) and at designated access points. Bicycle access will be provided at both the north and south ends of the project.
Accessing the site by automobile:
· From downtown Reno: Take southbound US 395/I-580 to access the site directly from the freeway using the construction access just south of the Mt. Rose exit (Exit 56).
· From Carson City: Take the existing US 395 north to Reno. Turn left at the Mt. Rose Highway and access via the new southbound I-580 on-ramp (just west of the Mt. Rose Bridge at the traffic signal).
· From Incline Village and the Galena area: Travel east on Mt. Rose Highway and take the new southbound I-580 on-ramp on your right (just west of the Mt. Rose Bridge).
Pedestrian/run/bike access:
· Pedestrians and bicyclists may access the site using the northbound I-580/Mt. Rose off-ramp (located east of the Mt. Rose Bridge). Please be sure to use crosswalks at signalized intersections when crossing the Mt. Rose Highway. Pedestrians and bicyclists crossing illegally may also be ticketed by law enforcement.
There will be no pedestrians or bicyclists allowed to enter/exit the event at vehicle entrances.
· Bicyclists riding from Carson City and the Washoe Valley will have access to the freeway in the area of the new Bowers Mansion Interchange - signs will be posted and volunteers available to assist in directing bicycle traffic entering from the south end of the new freeway. Pedestrians will not be allowed onto the alignment from the south end - pedestrians must access via the Mt. Rose Highway.
· Runners will be able to drive their vehicles onto the freeway from the Mt. Rose Interchange before 7:30 a.m. and park at the run start/finish line. The race is a self-timed 5k to the Galena Creek Bridge (runners must walk back to their vehicle) and a 10k from the start/finish line to the bridge and back.

The $400 million I-580 project, awarded to Fisher Industries, involves constructing nine bridges and an eight-and-a-half-mile freeway from the Mount Rose Highway in Reno to the north end of Washoe Valley. The freeway will officially open to traffic in August. This is the final section of the I-580/U.S. 395 freeway that upon completion will connect the state's capital city to the Interstate Highway System (I-80) and improve safety along U.S. 395 through Pleasant Valley.