A section of State Route 342 south of Gold Hill will be temporarily closed today through Nov. 12 for finishing construction of a Comstock Mining Inc. project to realign the road.
Through traffic will be detoured to nearby State Route 341, also known as the truck route. The detour route runs parallel to State Route 342 and provides direct access between U.S. 50 and Virginia City.
The road closure is scheduled as part of the project to complete realignment of State Route 342 around the historic Silver Hills mine shaft, which has a history of collapses dating back to the early 1900s.
In early February, the Nevada Department of Transportation closed a portion of State Route 342 south of Gold Hill as a safety precaution following heavy rains and roadway cracking and sinking. Comstock Mining owns the land; NDOT granted prescriptive rights to operate the state roadbed over that private land. With oversight of NDOT and Storey County, the mining company shortly thereafter began a project to permanently cap the old mine shaft and realign the road.
The project, funded by Comstock Mining, is being constructed in two phases. On June 2, Comstock Mining completed the first phase of construction of a temporary shoofly around the mine shaft, reopening the road to traffic almost one week ahead of schedule.
The closures are for construction of a full bypass permanently aligning State Route 342 on the east side of the old mine shaft. The closure is needed for safety during heavy construction, including installation of large drainage culverts, utility work and final roadway paving. Decontamination of old mining fill material dating back to the late 1800s is also part of the project.
State Route 342 is scheduled to open to traffic on Nov. 12, with periodic lane closures and continuing construction in the roadway shoulder through the end of the year.