Carson City Freeway Construction

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Work has been going very steady on the last stretch of the Carson City freeway. This final phase has been in progress for a very long time. First they built a bridge at Koontz, then they built a bridge at Clearview, then they built a bridge at Snyder. Each of the bridges took a year to build. Now they are building the roadbed to go under all these bridges. For many months they have been scooping out dirt and sending it up the hill on a conveyor belt. Even with the wet winter we had I don’t think I saw them stop work for more than a few days at a time.

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But now it seems like the majority of the earthmoving is done and they can actually start on laying down gravel for the roadbed itself. Here under the Snyder bridge the freeway will be at ground level so they didn’t have to dig down much. But the two travel lanes are very well defined.

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The road is headed to the intersection of 395 and 50, at the bottom of Spooner grade. They are not building the overpass at this junction yet, so the freeway will just end in a stoplight.

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To the left you can see the on ramp from 395, coming north from the Carson Valley. To the right are the 4 travel lanes going to and from Tahoe, and Carson City to the north.

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From 395 looking east, you can see the on ramp and the freeway travel lanes which are beginning to be graded. For the last year this has been where the giant dirt pile was kept as it was conveyored up the hill. Now most of that dirt is gone so they’re able to start carving out the freeway lanes and put in storm drains.

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All of this earthmoving was necessary because as the freeway travels along next to Edmonds Street it will be below grade. They had to dig down at least 20 feet here to put the freeway in a trench. The bridges that were built years ago, at Koontz and Clearview, are now finally looking like they belong there.

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The roadbed is in place now and they’re starting to put the gravel down here too. Looking out from the bridges it actually looks like a real freeway is starting to come together.

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Near Fairview they are starting to build the soundwalls along the edge of the freeway. Even though the freeway is down in a trench, it still needs a short sound wall to keep the roar of the traffic away from the nearby houses as much as possible.

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I think there’s at least another year left before the freeway is ready to open, but after a decade and a half of construction on this thing it’s exciting to see it so close to completion!

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