North will meet south today when Las Vegas' Interstate 15 train bridge starts its two-day journey to Carson City.
The bridge was divided into three sections for the trip then loaded onto nine-axle trucks to be hauled via Highway 95 to Silver Springs, then Highway 50 to the Parker/Carson Stolport airfield in east Carson City.
Built in the 1960s as a spur for the Union Pacific Railroad, the bridge will become part of the historic Virginia & Truckee Railroad restoration between Gold Hill and Carson City. It will span Highway 50 near the border of Carson City and Lyon County.
Transport started about 6 a.m. today, complete with a Nevada Highway Patrol escort to shut down the road where necessary.
The truck departures are being staggered, said Grant Youngren, contractor for Granite Construction.
"The second will leave about 9:30 a.m., and the third will leave shortly thereafter," he said.
The trip is expected to take between 15 and 18 hours, with an overnight stop in Luning or Hawthorne, he said.
The first bridge section is expected to arrive in Carson City around 1 p.m. Saturday. Local train buffs and officials, including John Tyson and Mayor Ray Masayko, will be on hand.
The trucks will be unloaded Monday, said V&T spokesman Kevin Ray.
"This bridge is the first tangible evidence that we've been working on this project," he said.
The project to reconstruct a 17-mile stretch of V&T history has been on the drawing boards for more than 10 years.
Crossing the Overman Pit just south of Gold Hill proved to be a major obstacle, requiring extensive engineering and funding. Construction on the Overman project should start by the fall of this year at the latest, Ray said.
Spanning about 1.4 miles, the Overman includes the track running from the Gold Hill Depot across the pit and should take about six months to complete. The next step will be completion of about four miles or more of track, donated by Granite Construction.
This second phase is slated to start Monday, when the Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway meets at 4 p.m. in room 2135 of the Nevada State Legislature.
Contact Susie Vasquez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.