by Meg Ragonese, Nevada Department of Transportation
CARSON CITY, Nev. – In just the first days after several northwestern Nevada state roads were damaged by flooding, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) has let out emergency contracts and contractors are already being dispatched to repair erosion and other flood-related roadway damage. The repairs follow tours of the damage taken by Governor Sandoval and local officials both before and after the flood.
State Route 207 Kingsbury Grade: Kingsbury Grade remains closed between Tramway Drive and Foothill Drive on the Carson Valley side. Residences and businesses in the Tahoe area of Kingsbury Grade remain accessible. Alternative routes between the Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe are available through U.S. 50, State Route 431 and various routes in California. Last week, NDOT contractors repaired a sinkhole which formed where a drainage pipe crosses underneath the road approximately 10 miles up the Carson Valley side. Much of the new roadway surface and earth that was placed down to fill this previous erosion remained intact. With the overwhelming amount of precipitation, additional erosion occurred in the area, particularly to drainages. Contractors are anticipated to begin repair work on Thursday. NDOT will do all possible to repair the road efficiently and quickly, but lingering snow and winter weather mean that no timeframe for reopening is set.
State Routes 445 (Pyramid Highway) and 447 (Gerlach Highway): Both roads are open, and NDOT contractors will begin today to make roadway shoulder repairs, repair flood damage and rebuild roadway drainage.
State Route 446: State Route 446 running along the bottom of Pyramid Lake is closed. The road sustained the greatest flood damage of any state road, with many sections of roadway completely washed away and approximately 50-feet drop-offs created by erosion. Full damages have been assessed, and repairs anticipated to start in coming weeks. With a massive amount of earthwork needed to rebuild the roadway, no timeframe for reopening is established. (see attached photo)
State Route 342: State Route 342 between Virginia City and the SR 341 junction south of Gold Hill remains closed due to flood damage to roadway shoulders and guardrail. Local traffic is permitted on the southern, top section of State Route 342. The nearby alternate route of SR 341 is available to through traffic. Over the coming weeks, NDOT contractors will work to repair and reopen the road.
Interstate 80 Keystone Ave. to NV-CA Stateline: All lanes are currently open on I-80 in Reno-Sparks. I-80 west of Keystone Avenue experienced extensive potholing during the storm. NDOT maintenance forces have temporarily filled the potholes. NDOT road contractors will begin this week to more permanently patch the potholes, and will return again as weather warms in the spring to fully remove and repave damaged areas.
McCarran Boulevard: McCarran Boulevard is open, and roadway repairs will be made over the next weeks to rebuild roadway shoulders and repair the roadway surface in flood-damaged areas.
State Route 877/Franktown Road: Franktown Road in Washoe Valley remains open, but roadside drainages and sections of road surface were damaged by floods. Repairs will take place in coming weeks.
Lingering damages are still being fully assessed as storm waters subside, and additional road repairs may be needed to state roads east of Reno and Carson City. Repairs are estimated to cost approximately $6.5 million with a large portion of costs going to reconstruction of State Route 446. Federal reimbursement is anticipated for much of the repairs. For those roads that are open, drivers should anticipate minor travel delays and single lane reductions as repairs are made, and are advised to proceed through the area with caution and leave extra travel time.
“We took many precautions and our road maintenance and construction crews worked 24-7 before, during and after the flood to keep drivers safe,” NDOT District Engineer Thor Dyson explained. “We’re grateful no one was injured in the flood, and we’re working to quickly repair and reopen these state roads to help keep Nevadans safe and connected.”
During and after the flood, NDOT bridge inspectors visually assessed state bridges for any imminent bridge safety concerns. No immediate damages or imminent safety concerns were found on state bridges, and NDOT will contract with underwater bridge inspectors as floodwaters subside to review further for any potential bridge damage.
Motorists can dial 511 or visit www.nvroads.com before driving for the latest road conditions.