Spaghetti Bowl project: Reno airport freeway ramp to be preserved
RENO, Nev. — The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board of Trustees on Feb. 14 unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the Nevada Department of Transportation’s inclusion of the preferred alternative option in the Spaghetti Bowl Project to retain the I-580 southbound direct connector ramp to Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
Federal approval of NDOT’s preferred alternative is expected this summer and will incorporate the option of retaining the southbound I-580 direct connector ramp, officials said.
“We have fast-tracked the environmental review process for future major improvements to the Spaghetti Bowl and metro interstates,” NDOT Senior Project Manager Dale Keller explained. “Since 2017, NDOT has hosted roughly 200 public and stakeholder meetings, including with the Airport Authority. The vital citizen and stakeholder input we have gathered through this process will help us build the best interstate improvements to keep the Truckee Meadows safely connected for decades to come.”
Public input played a major role in retaining the ramp that provides vital access to the airport, said Marily Mora, president/CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority.
“Eighty-five percent of the public comment received on the Spaghetti Bowl Project sought the inclusion of the Interstate 580 southbound freeway access ramp to RNO,” Mora said in a statement. “We truly appreciate our community, tenants and public officials making their voices heard and for NDOT working with us in a spirit of partnership to save the ramp.”
NDOT incorporated feedback and extensive technical evaluation to ultimately develop three proposed interstate design concepts recently presented for public review and comment as part of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
Should federal approval occur this summer, the freeway improvements may then be designed and built in phases over subsequent years and decades. The first phase, called the Spaghetti Bowl Xpress, tentatively scheduled to begin construction in 2020, will realign eastbound Interstate 80 lanes between Wells Avenue and the Spaghetti Bowl and widen the eastbound I-80 to southbound I-580 Spaghetti Bowl ramp to two lanes.
According to NDOT, with the Reno-Sparks population anticipated to increase 27 percent by 2040, interstate travel delays are projected to jump 53 percent if no improvements are made.
Construction could begin next year and require about 500 to 600 workers, with a permanent workforce starting at 150 to 200 people with potential to expand.