Gov. Brian Sandoval and a host of state, county and local officials gathered at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center on Tuesday afternoon for the groundbreaking of the USA Parkway project.
The parkway will connect the industrial center along Interstate 80 east of Reno with U.S. 50 in Lyon County, providing a direct connection to U.S. 395 as well as Carson City and the Dayton corridor.
The $75.9 million contract for the project was awarded in January. Ames Construction will finish the work by the end of December 2017.
The groundbreaking was at the end of the paved portion of the road through TRIC. The contractor first has to extend the paved roadway down the gravel road about four miles. After that, the contractor has to build the remaining 8.5 miles of road through the Virginia Range to Highway 50 at Opal Lane.
The USA Parkway was originally constructed as a privately built, six-mile-long road connecting Interstate 80 to the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center east of Sparks. The project will extend the Parkway by more than 12 miles, creating an approximately 18-mile-long, four-lane state roadway. Known as State Route 439, the route is projected to reduce travel times by as much as 38 percent for those traveling between U.S. 50 and I-80. In 20 years, more than 17,000 vehicles daily are anticipated to travel the new segment of USA Parkway.