The Nevada Department of Transportation opened the USA Parkway extension at noon Friday.
Access from both ends of the USA Parkway opened, allowing drivers to travel the 18-plus-mile roadway extension between I-80 west of Fernley and U.S. 50 near Silver Springs. Motorists are reminded to drive attentively and anticipate minor lane and traffic pattern changes across the area. Periodic, minor roadside shoulder and lane closures will take place on the parkway for finishing touches.
The new roadway extends the previous six-mile-long USA Parkway by more than 12 miles to reach U.S. 50 at Silver Springs, creating an approximately 18-mile-long, four-lane state roadway between Interstate 80 and U.S. 50. Known as State Route 439, the new roadway will further link the Reno/Sparks area with the U.S. 50 corridor, enhancing regional mobility and creating an additional route for commuter, freight and other traffic. The road will also help support regional economic development and serve as another route in the event of emergency or weather-related road closures. The parkway is projected to reduce travel times by as much as 38 percent for those traveling between U.S. 50 and I-80. During an Aug. 28 ribbon-cutting ceremony, Gov. Brian Sandoval unveiled an honorary name of Infinity Highway for the road.
The $75.9 million project by design-build contractor Ames Construction to extend the parkway began in June 2016. Originally scheduled to be completed in December, the project wrapped up three months ahead of schedule. Major earthwork to create a pathway for the future road included:
Excavation – 2 million cubic yards of earth excavated for the new roadway
Aggregate Roadway Base – 500,000 tons of aggregate used to provide the base of the roadway
Asphalt – 566,000 square yards of hot mix asphalt paving installed, enough to cover 88 football fields
Storm Drains – 12,000 linear feet of 18 to 60-inch diameter storm drain installed
Fencing– 165,000 linear feet, or approximately 31 miles, of wildlife fencing installed
Fiber Optic Conduit – 482,534 linear feet, or approximately 91 miles, of fiber optic conduit installed
“The opening of USA Parkway will transform the region’s transportation capabilities. Now the millions of goods made in or distributed from Nevada will be able to move more swiftly and with greater ease,” said Sandoval. “We prioritized this project to reduce truck and traffic congestion in Reno and, most importantly, to help more Nevadans safely access good-paying, stable jobs. This project marks an important milestone in the diversification of our economy and I look forward to celebrating its opening with the individuals who worked tirelessly to ensure its completion three months early and on budget.”
“We are thrilled to see this vital regional link open,” said Storey County Commission Chairman Marshall McBride. “For county staff traveling between Virginia City and the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, this new route will save about 20 minutes of drive-time each way, not to mention fuel.”