V&T bridge comes down in Las Vegas | NevadaAppeal.com

V&T bridge comes down in Las Vegas

by Kurt Hildebrand

An 80-ton section of the Las Vegas railroad bridge that will allow the Virginia & Truckee Railroad to cross Highway 50 was removed early Tuesday morning.

Judie Fisher-Crowley of the Northern Nevada Railway Foundation said it took ironworkers more than six hours to remove the center section of the bridge that spans Interstate 15 near McCarran Airport.

The 40-foot section of bridge will be stored at Jake’s Crane in Las Vegas until it can be painted. The north section of the bridge was scheduled to be removed Tuesday night, and the final piece would be removed tonight.

“We’re hoping to get it painted by Thursday, and then we can move early next week, depending on permits,” Fisher-Crowley said.

Members of Ironworkers Local 433 started working Sunday night to remove the bridge.

“It is dangerous work,” said Fisher-Crowley, who videotaped the process. “They had someone out on the bridge guiding the crane.”

The entire bridge is 167 feet long and 17 feet wide. Fisher-Crowley said the foundation will only use two of the sections to cross Highway 50.

“We’ll bring up all three sections and use the other one somewhere, we’re not sure where,” she said.

Once the bridge sections are painted, they will be trucked up to Mound House, where they will be stored by James Parker until the track is ready to cross the highway.

“It is so exciting to finally see tangible physical evidence something is happening,” Fisher-Crowley said. “It’s like having a baby; I can’t wait for it to get here.”

The Virginia & Truckee Railroad made its last run from Virginia City to Carson City in 1938. The railroad was built between 1869 and 1872, and served Virginia City, Carson City, Minden and Reno.

The railroad stopped operating completely May 31, 1950.

Contact Kurt Hildebrand at hildebrand@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1215.