The Nevada Department of Transportation is seeking to enhance traffic safety with a new project to install livestock fencing on sections of U.S. 50 in Silver Springs.
The project, which began Monday, will fence approximately four and a half miles of U.S. 50 between Boyer Lane and Pinto Street and from Onyx Street to the U.S. 95 Alternate intersection in Silver Springs. The four-strand, smooth wire fencing will stand four feet high to help prevent wild horses and cattle from entering the highway. As part of the project, cattle guards will also be installed on certain access roads and driveways connecting to U.S. 50.
The approximately $700,000 project by Sierra Nevada Construction is scheduled to be completed in late August, with minor roadside shoulder closures anticipated during construction.
The project extends approximately seven miles of fence already installed last year between Chaves Road and Boyer Lane. It’s one part of NDOT’s continuing enhancements and widening of U.S. 50 between Silver Springs and Carson City to improve safety. A wildlife underpass constructed in 2013 east of Dayton has seen more than 350 wild horse crossings, helping keep both motorists and horses safe by reducing potential collisions. NDOT also has signs urging caution and alerting motorists to the possible presence of horses near the road.
“We’ve been widening and enhancing U.S. 50 east of Carson over the past years. These improvements are a part of our continuing commitment to safety and mobility for everyone traveling U.S. 50,” NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon said. “We want to remind all motorists to remain attentive when driving. That means focusing on the road, always looking out for other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, animals or anything else on the road.”
The improvements by the Nevada Department of Transportation complement continuing comprehensive measures by the Nevada Department of Public Safety and Nevada Department of Agriculture to also protect public safety and wildlife in the Virginia Range, a mountain range neighboring U.S. 50. The Nevada Highway Patrol instituted a zero tolerance patrol period on sections of U.S. 50 to educate drivers and cite any illegal and unsafe driving. In March, Return to Freedom Inc. signed a cooperative agreement with the Nevada Department of Agriculture for the management, control and placement or disposition of feral and estray horses in the Virginia Range area.