Upgrades made to Washoe Valley wind warning system | NevadaAppeal.com

Upgrades made to Washoe Valley wind warning system

Staff report

Motorists who drive through Washoe Valley may notice new signage along the stretch of road where winds are frequently strong.

The signs are aimed at enhancing safety for travelers on Interstate 580 and sections of Alternate (Old) U.S. 395 between Reno and Carson City.

Early this year, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) completed a project to enhance the wind warning system prohibiting high-profile vehicles such as semi-trucks and RVs during high winds through Washoe Valley.

The system continually monitors wind speeds from roadside monitoring sites.

During wind gust speeds of more than 50 miles per hour on I-580 in Washoe Valley or greater than 40 miles per hour on I-580 between Mt. Rose Highway and north Washoe Valley, highway signs automatically post messages prohibiting high-profile vehicles nine feet or taller from traveling through the area.

The new system includes additional wind warning signs and weather monitoring stations. Approximately 30 new signs that flash during wind-related road closures have been added to roadsides.

Wind alerts also are posted on electronic highway message signs, highway advisory radio stations and the 511 Nevada Travel Info system.

NDOT has had a wind warning system in place since the early 1980s to prohibit high-profile vehicles during high winds, with automated wind warnings and prohibitions based on wind speed first launched in 1996.

The newly-upgraded system was based on years of research and public feedback to define the most effective system for the area.

While not behind the wheel, drivers can also dial 511 or log onto http://www.nvroads.com for road updates.