Let the lights shine: NDOT plans to activate traffic signal at major intersection

After years of waiting and more waiting, the Nevada Department of Transportation will let the lights shine on Churchill County.

Spokeswoman Meg Ragonese said NDOT is activating a permanent traffic signal this week at the intersection of U.S. Highway 50 and Sheckler Cut-off. Even with the activation of lights at one of Churchill County’s most dangerous interactions, she said single lane closures, traffic flaggers and reduced travel speed will be in place until the end of the month. She also said crews will install advance warning signs, curb ramps and crosswalk markings.

“Drivers should anticipate brief travel delays of approximately 5 minutes as traffic is stopped for the signal mast arms to be installed over highway lanes,” she said.

Because of the current work, she said drivers should allow themselves leave extra time to travel through the intersection and be prepared for slight delays.

“A temporary traffic signal was installed in February to provide more designated turns to the highway and help reduce crashes,” she said “In June, crews installed foundations and conduit for the permanent traffic signal.”

NDOT announced in January 2019 a permanent traffic signal was planned for installation, but a three-vehicle crash in late October that resulted in one death hurried the need for a temporary signal light at the intersection.

During the past decade, according to NDOT records, the intersection has been the site of more than 40 crashes and 20 injuries. Since 2007, NDOT said four motorists have died.

The news of the traffic-single activation coincides with another major NDOT project, a two-year project to widen U.S. 50 between Stagecoach and Silver Springs. More than 6,000 drivers use the highway on a daily basis.

Ragonese said about 10 miles of the highway was widened from a two-lane to a four-lane divided highway. NDOT also constructed a roundabout on U.S. Highway at Silver Springs to facilitate traffic.

“Nine frontage roads were constructed, tying local access roads into major intersections for safer designated turns to and from the highway,” she said. “New roadside lighting improves visibility and safety at major intersections. Roadway drainage improvements were also made.”

Because of previous crashes on U.S. Highway 50 involving cattle and wild horse, she said NDOT constructed 14 miles of 4-foot high livestock fencing on both sides of the highway.

Fourteen miles of new four strand, four-foot high livestock fencing constructed on both sides of the highway will help reduce vehicle-animal collisions and enhance safety. I

The $50 million highway project by contractor Granite Construction Company marks the final phase of widening of U.S. 50 to four lanes between Carson City and Silver Springs. Over the past decade, she said NDOT has widened U.S. 50 from the eastern boundary Dayton to the Stagecoach area from two to four lanes.


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