Traffic on U.S. 50 in Silver Springs has shifted since Tuesday afternoon to direct traffic to a new roundabout connecting the future USA Parkway extension to U.S. Highway 50.
Previously, traffic traveled a detour around the under-construction roundabout on U.S. 50 near Opal Avenue.
One travel lane is available in each direction through the roundabout. Once fully constructed, the roundabout will be two lanes in each direction and will connect U.S. 50 to the future USA Parkway.
Motorists are advised to drive attentively through the new traffic configuration.
For public safety and the safety of construction workers, travel isn’t allowed on the new USA Parkway extension as paving and other construction continues.
The Nevada Department of Transportation said when the roundabout is complete, it will help enhance traffic safety.
U.S. 50 speed limits through the roundabout will permanently be lowered as low as 25 mph.
Officials said because traffic enters and exits through right turns only, severe crashes are less likely in roundabouts than in many four-way intersections.
Roundabouts also can decrease travel delays, congestion, fuel consumption and air pollution, while still allowing room for large trucks to travel through.
The USA Parkway was originally constructed as a privately built, six-mile road connecting Interstate 80 to the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center east of Sparks.
The project will extend the Parkway by more than 12 miles to reach U.S. 50 at Silver Springs, creating an approximately 18-mile four-lane state roadway between Interstate 80 and U.S. 50.
Known as State Route 439, the new roadway will link the greater Reno/Sparks area with the U.S. 50 corridor with the goal of enhancing regional mobility and creating an additional route for commuter, freight and other traffic.
The road also will help support regional economic development and serve as another route in the event of emergency or weather-related road closures.
The project is projected to reduce travel times by as much as 38 percent for those traveling between U.S. 50 and I-80. The $75.9 million project by design-build contractor Ames Construction is scheduled to complete this fall, opening the new USA Parkway extension to traffic.
For information, go to www.usaparkway.com, or call 775-888-7000.