NDOT, airport announce plan to retain 580 ramp

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The ramp from southbound I-580 to Reno Tahoe International Airport will stay, as part of eventual work to reconfigure the Spaghetti Bowl in Reno.

The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board of Trustees has unanimously passed a resolution supporting the Nevada Department of Transportation’s inclusion of the plan to retain the connector ramp.

Federal approval of NDOT’s plan, presented in a combined Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record of Decision, is expected this summer and will incorporate the option of retaining the southbound I-580 direct connector ramp.

“We have fast-tracked the environmental review process for future major improvements to the Spaghetti Bowl and metro interstates,” NDOT Senior Project Manager Dale Keller says. “Since 2017, NDOT has hosted roughly 200 public and stakeholder meetings, including with the Airport Authority. The vital citizen and stakeholder input we have gathered through this process will help us build the best interstate improvements to keep the Truckee Meadows safely connected for decades to come.”

The airport says public input played a major role in retaining the ramp that provides vital access to RNO. The ramp announcement highlights the importance of participation in a public hearing process, says Marily Mora, President/CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority.

“Eighty-five percent of the public comment received on the Spaghetti Bowl Project sought the inclusion of the Interstate 580 southbound freeway access ramp to RNO,” Mora says. “We truly appreciate our community, tenants and public officials making their voices heard and for NDOT working with us in a spirit of partnership to save the ramp.”

NDOT says it incorporated feedback and extensive technical evaluation to develop three proposed interstate design concepts, recently presented for public review and comment, as part of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The plan identified through this public participation process is scheduled to be presented for federal approval this summer. Following approval of the combined Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision, the freeway improvements can be designed and built in phases over subsequent years and decades, according to NDOT.

The first phase, called the Spaghetti Bowl Xpress, tentatively scheduled to begin construction in 2020, will realign eastbound Interstate 80 lanes between Wells Avenue and the Spaghetti Bowl and widen the eastbound I-80 to southbound I-580 Spaghetti Bowl ramp to two lanes.

An earlier NDOT plan called for possible elimination of the ramp from 580 to the airport.

With the Reno-Sparks population anticipated to increase 27 percent by 2040, according to the airport, interstate travel delays are projected to jump 53 percent if no improvements are made. But with NDOT plans to reconstruct the Spaghetti Bowl, add additional interstate lanes and enhance sixteen interchanges on more than 12 miles of metro interstate, interstate trip times are projected to be faster in 2040 than today.

Further information is available here.