WASHOE VALLEY, Nev. (KOLO) UPDATE: NDOT and NV Energy report 580 was reopened about 9:30AM Sunday when work was finished early; the road is back open for normal traffic.
ORIGINAL STORY: I-580 between Washoe Valley and Carson City will be closed both ways during certain hours this weekend.
The closure has nothing to do with the roadway itself. Its cause is a brush fire two weeks ago.
The Sheriff's Office RAVEN helicopter, providing security for the Vice President's Nevada Day visit, clipped a power line on the hillside above the highway at Lakeview Hill, touching off a brush fire and triggering a traffic jam.
The line provides power to 11,000 customers in Incline Village. Permanent repairs will require lifting the line over the highway by helicopter.
So, the highway will be closed between 7AM and 1PM Saturday and Sunday. It's going to have an impact on drivers and the communities.
"On average this section of I-580 gets about 43,000 vehicles traveling through it each day," says Nevada Department of Transportation spokesperson Meg Ragonese.."That traffic load is often higher on weekdays, less on weekends, but we do know that this temporary closure on the mornings of Saturday and Sunday will have an impact."
It's triggered one adjustment already. Curtain time for the matinee performance of the musical Mamma Mia! at the Carson City Community Center has moved back half an hour to 2:30 Saturday.
The AM-PM gas station at the north end of Carson Street will likely see fewer customers.
"We've never had that closed before, but I'm sure it will make a big difference because we get a lot of our customers from Reno or heading to Reno," says owner Anurag Goel.
He says he may take advantage of the lighter traffic to get some maintenance done.. N-DOT plans to do the same, doing some striping and sealing of the roadway while it's closed.
Motorists are going to find getting to either Reno or Carson City will involve a detour. You have your choices.
In theory the quickest may be through Virginia City, though heavy traffic could change that quickly.
The same could be said of the alternate route through Incline Village over the Mount Rose Summit.
The route N-DOT is suggesting and encouraging is the longest, but can handle the heaviest traffic.
"We actually recommend motorists give thought to detouring through USA Parkway connecting between US50 and I-80," says Ragonese.."USA Parkway is two lanes both ways and has provided a lot of capacity and traffic safety for motorists."
They will have crews out monitoring traffic conditions on all those routes helping to keep things moving smoothly as possible.
Two other notes: For those thinking about sneaking through the Lakeview Estates neighborhood, that too will be closed to through traffic at Hobart and I-580. Local roads will be open on either side for residents.
And, though the closures won't begin until 7 AM, crews will be out hours before that in the darkness setting up detour signs, cones and the like. So, drive with caution.