Reno airport freeway ramp preserved in plan | NevadaAppeal.com

Reno airport freeway ramp preserved in plan

Nevada Appeal staff report

RENO — The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution supporting the Nevada Department of Transportation’s inclusion of the preferred alternative option to retain the I-580 southbound direct connector ramp to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport in the Spaghetti Bowl Project.

NDOT and the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA) have worked together to retain a southbound I-580 direct connect ramp to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) as part of NDOT’s Spaghetti Bowl Project preferred alternative. Federal approval of NDOT’s preferred alternative presented in a combined Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record of Decision is expected this summer and will incorporate the option of retaining the southbound I-580 direct connector ramp.

“We have fast-tracked the environmental review process for future major improvements to the Spaghetti Bowl and metro interstates,” NDOT Senior Project Manager Dale Keller explained. “Since 2017, NDOT has hosted roughly 200 public and stakeholder meetings, including with the Airport Authority. The vital citizen and stakeholder input we have gathered through this process will help us build the best interstate improvements to keep the Truckee Meadows safely connected for decades to come.”

Public input played a major role in retaining the ramp that provides vital access to RNO. Today’s announcement highlights the importance of participation in a public hearing process, Marily Mora, president/CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, said.

“Eighty-five percent of the public comment received on the Spaghetti Bowl Project sought the inclusion of the Interstate 580 southbound freeway access ramp to RNO,” Mora said. “We truly appreciate our community, tenants and public officials making their voices heard and for NDOT working with us in a spirit of partnership to save the ramp.”

NDOT incorporated feedback and extensive technical evaluation to ultimately develop three proposed interstate design concepts recently presented for public review and comment as part of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The refined preferred alternative identified through this public participation process is scheduled to be presented for federal approval this summer. Following approval of the combined Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision, the freeway improvements may then be designed and built in phases over subsequent years and decades. The first phase, called the Spaghetti Bowl Xpress, tentatively scheduled to begin construction in 2020, will realign eastbound Interstate 80 lanes between Wells Avenue and the Spaghetti Bowl and widen the eastbound I-80 to southbound I-580 Spaghetti Bowl ramp to two lanes.

With the Reno-Sparks population anticipated to increase 27 percent by 2040, interstate travel delays are projected to jump 53 percent if no improvements are made. But, with NDOT plans to reconstruct the Spaghetti Bowl, add additional interstate lanes and enhance 16 interchanges on more than 12 miles of metro interstate, interstate trip times are projected to be faster in 2040 than today.

Information is available at 775-622-5555 or by visiting ndotspaghettibowl.com.