Final leg of Carson City Freeway opens
Just before 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, Nevada Department of Transportation workers removed the orange barrels at Spooner Junction and the first vehicles to make their way onto the final leg of the Carson City Freeway drove by. Longtime resident Andrew Silva had been looking forward to this moment for so long, he came out to take pictures.
"This was in the works for many, many, many years," says Silva. "This is a one-time-only thing. I wanted to see what it looks like to see the first cars go by and it looks like it's going pretty good so far."
The three-mile stretch of I-580 will allow traffic through from Fairview Drive to South Carson Street.
"This entire stretch of freeway connects not just all of Carson City, but all of our region," says Meg Ragonese, Public Information Officer for NDOT. "For example, it connects Carson Valley to Reno, Carson Valley to Carson City, South Lake Tahoe to Reno. It really just helps enhance mobility and commutes throughout the region."
Now that traffic is finally flowing on that section of I-580, drivers are being warned about speeding. The Nevada Highway Patrol says the speed limit on that portion of the freeway is 65 miles per hour and troopers will be paying attention. NHP says in the first three hours of the last leg of the freeway opening, troopers had already stopped at least a dozen vehicles.
NDOT says traffic in the area will just keep growing over the years.
"This is a 42-million-dollar investment in enhancing mobility for our entire region," says Ragonese. "We actually project that in about two decades, more than 43,000 vehicles each and every day will travel this last three-mile section of freeway."