Power line repair to close Reno freeway this weekend
If you’re planning a trip into Reno this weekend, remember to take an alternate route if you plan to travel early in the day.
Interstate 580 between U.S. 50/East William Street exit 39 in central Carson City to the Alternate U.S. 395 Bowers Mansion exit 50 in northern Washoe Valley will be closed from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
Hobart Road, too, will be closed to all but local residents so drivers can’t travel old 395 and cut through Lakeview to reach Carson City.
“If community members must travel between Carson City and Reno during these times, they are able to utilize other state highways,” said Meg Ragonese, public information officer, Nevada Department of Transportation. “While there are mountainous highways available to the east and west of I-580, traveling U.S. 50 to USA Parkway to connect with Interstate 80 into Reno is the recommended alternative as a state road with two lanes in each direction.”
The mountainous routes to the east and west are Virginia City to Nevada State Route 341, known as Geiger Grade, or U.S 50 or Kingsbury Grade to Lake Tahoe to SR 431, known as Mount Rose Highway.
NV Energy is closing the road to repair power lines that were downed by the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office RAVEN helicopter on Oct. 27. The helicopter was providing security for Vice President Mike Pence, who held an event at the Carson City Airport that day. The helicopter pilot moved in closer, accidentally clipping the lines, when an unauthorized vehicle entered the highway ahead of the vice president’s motorcade, according to Bob Harmon, public information officer, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.
The downed lines caused a five-acre fire in Duck Hill, which was quickly contained, and the accident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.
“The good news is nobody was hurt, the bad news obviously is it is going to cause some disruption to get the wires back over,” said Harmon.
The repairs require a helicopter to string the power lines, necessitating the road closure, according to NDOT and NV Energy.
The closure has disrupted some planned events. The Nevada State Museum, for example, moved its annual Autumn Book Signing event from Nov. 17 to Dec. 15.
This weekend’s matinees of the Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company’s “Mamma Mia!” are being pushed back to 2:30 p.m. starts to allow the audiences to attend. The doors to the theater will open at 2 p.m. The evening performances will start at 7:30 as scheduled.
And organizers of Sidekicks, an event that brings youth together with people with Parkinson’s disease, were looking for help to get their shuttle bus to Reno on both mornings.
The pilot program is taking place at Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum in Reno, and 18 people from Carson City and Minden were planning to go via shuttle bus, according to Brian Reedy, who organized the event.
“This event has been in the works for well over four months,” said Reedy, who was waiting Tuesday to hear if the group’s shuttle bus could take the USA Parkway route.
Information on who was paying for the repairs is unavailable, according to Kristen Saibini, senior corporate communication specialist, NV Energy.
The downed lines affected 11,000 NV Energy customers in Lake Tahoe, whose power was restored earlier.