Carson City Bypass to open Wednesday

Hundreds of people attended the preliminary grand opening and fun run/bike/walk on the new section of I-580 in Carson City on July 22.

Hundreds of people attended the preliminary grand opening and fun run/bike/walk on the new section of I-580 in Carson City on July 22.

The Carson City Bypass will open to southbound travelers Wednesday morning.

The Nevada Department of Transportation said Monday the last leg could open as early as 10 a.m. Wednesday. Access from the southern end of the freeway will be open and drivers will be able to travel the southern three miles of freeway which have been under construction since June 2015. As part of a phased opening, the new freeway ramps between Fairview Drive at the northern end of the new Carson City Freeway will open later that afternoon or on Thursday.

NDOT, in a Monday press release, reminded motorists to drive attentively and anticipate minor lane and traffic pattern changes across the area as the new freeway segment opens. Periodic, minor roadside shoulder and lane closures will take place on South Carson Street and the Carson City Freeway for finishing construction.

Prior to construction of I-580, Nevada was one of only a few states without an interstate connecting to the capital city.

Since breaking ground in 2000, construction of the approximately nine-mile I-580 Carson City Freeway has been phased to best utilize available funding. Nearly six million cubic yards of earth were moved, 18 million pounds of reinforcing steel installed and more than $200 million in federal, state and local transportation funds dedicated to construct the freeway between Lakeview Hill in north Carson City and the U.S. 50 junction in the southern part of the city.

Contractors used 91,650 cubic yards of concrete and 306,765 tons of asphalt to build it. They excavated nearly 3.5 million cubic yards of dirt. The bridges, sound walls and other structures used some 18 million pounds of steel.

NDOT estimates 43,000 vehicles daily are projected to use the new southern section of freeway by 2035.

“Our goal is to help keep Nevada safe and connected,” NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon explained. “And the Carson City Freeway not only helps connect our capital city, it will further connect the entire region. The community has supported us throughout construction of the freeway, and it is with pride that we open the last leg of the Carson City Freeway to the Carson City community and the entire state.”

“The opening of the last leg of the I-580 freeway is a long-awaited turning point for the Carson City community and one which we have been anticipating and preparing for over several decades,” Carson City Mayor Robert Crowell said. “First conceived in the 1960s, it has now become a reality. In addition to being able to travel from Carson City to the Bay Area with no stop lights, it will allow our community the ability to showcase our city as the capital of the great state of Nevada. We share in the pride expressed by NDOT Director Malfabon and thank NDOT for its perseverance and dedication in completing this much-needed addition to our community, region and state.”

While the bypass itself is complete, the final work, construction of the full freeway interchange at Spooner Junction, will have to wait until there’s funding available. That interchange is a multi-million dollar enhancement that was put off in favor of a signalized intersection to get the bypass open several years earlier than would otherwise have been possible.

Further information is available at or by dialing 775-888-7000.


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