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A bridge for the Virginia & Truckee Railroad

Nevada Appeal editorial board

Congratulations to all the folks working to make the Virginia & Truckee Railroad reconstruction a reality on the move this week of a huge bridge from Las Vegas to Carson City.

The bridge is a 160-foot-long, steel symbol of the progress the reconstruction effort is making toward its goal. As Mayor Ray Masayko noted, “It signifies that we have a project and the funding to make it happen.”

If all goes well, the bridge will be dismantled from its site over Interstate 15, loaded in three sections on trucks, and brought by the end of the week to James L. Parker’s property just off Highway 50 in East Carson City.

“Where the V&T project is concerned, this bridge will be 160 feet of reality,” said Parker, a longtime advocate of the project.

The bridge’s ultimate resting place is over Highway 50 , where it will carry tourists between Carson City and Virginia City the way it once carried timber and ore.

The bridge is also a symbol of the kind of cooperation it will take to make the restoration a success.

Between Carson City, the Nevada Department of Transportation; the Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction of the V&T Railway; private companies such as Granite Construction, Olsen-Beal and Jake’s Cranes; and individuals such as Parker, it has taken a great deal of time, effort, coordination and patience to obtain the bridge and bring it from one end of the state to the other.

The same kind of persistent spirit is going to get the whole restoration done eventually.

And when that happens, it will be a monumental achievement on behalf of Carson City, Virginia City and Northern Nevada generally. While lots of people like to speculate on what it might take to bring the area to the next level as a tourist destination, the people pushing the V&T restoration have a vision and a viable plan.

History and tourism are the two rails running side by side on the Virginia & Truckee. It’s still uphill all the way, but having the bridge is a great help in keeping the project rolling toward the top.