This has been 50 years in coming, and it’s coming slowly, but they are making progress. Today is the official opening day of Phase 2 of the new Carson City Freeway. This new stretch will bring the freeway from Hwy 50, where it ends now, up to Fairview Drive. It’s only a couple extra miles of roadway, but what this opening represents is that downtown Carson City has finally been bypassed. Now all through traffic can stay on the freeway all the way to Fairview, then take Fairview across to Carson Street. No longer will all the big trucks have to pass through the central downtown core. It remains to be seen how much traffic will actually use this route, especially northbound traffic which will have to know to turn off at Fairview. The full effect of the freeway won’t be felt of course until Phase 3 is finished all the way to the south end of town, but I’m sure traffic levels through downtown will decrease over the next few weeks.
Governor Jim Gibbons and Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell are expected to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony at 2pm today, followed possibly by a ceremonial “first drive” like they did when Phase 1 opened. Then after that the road will be open to all traffic, supposedly by 3:00 pm.
Next up? Major construction on Clearview and Koontz as bridges are built for Phase 3. Expect that work to happen next summer.