Nevada Department of Transportation staff on Monday presented the Transportation Board with a quarterly report saying that the USA Parkway project is now 20 percent complete and moving along right on schedule.
The highway will connect Interstate 80 at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center to U.S. 50 in Silver Springs when finished in the fall of 2017.
At the same time, she said design of the four-lane road is 90 percent completed and all the necessary right of way has been acquired. Design for all but one piece of the project has been released for construction.
Owners of TRIC originally paved six miles of the route through TRIC. That road is being upgraded to NDOT highway standards as part of the project. A spokesman said beyond that, about two miles of new pavement has been laid.
Still on the list of things to do is construction of the round-about that will connect the parkway to Highway 50 at silver Springs.
The project also includes two wildlife under-crossings and strategic fencing to prevent wildlife — in particular deer and estray horses — from getting on to the highway.
The $75.9 million project will be designated State Route 439 once completed. It will provide much better access from U.S. 95 and Highway 50 to Interstate 80, creating a route for commuters, freight and other traffic.
NDOT spokesman Meg Ragonese said crews this month are wrapping up paving work in anticipation of colder weather. She said paving will continue weather permitting. In the meantime, earthwork and other construction will continue through the winter.
In other business, the board approved a total of just over $8 million in vehicle and equipment purchases.
The list includes a large number of pickup trucks, vans and other fleet vehicles. But it also includes some very specialized vehicles such as snowplows, roadway sweepers, aerial lifts, forklifts and dump trucks. Funding for the purchases was included in this biennium’s NDOT budget by the governor and legislature.
Program manager Kevin Lee told the board some of the vehicles such as snow blowers the department has are 40 or more years old.