NDOT Crews to Repave, Enhance Mt. Rose Highway - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

NDOT Crews to Repave, Enhance Mt. Rose Highway

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If you're summer plans include driving up to Lake Tahoe on the Mt. Rose Highway, you might want to give yourself some extra time, with construction getting underway. A repaving project is happening on SR 431, all summer long. It spans 16 miles from S. Virginia Street all the way to the Mt. Rose summit.

Between 5,000 and 12,000 cars use the highway on a daily basis, with some areas busier than others.

With the summer travel season underway, more vacationers and construction workers will spending time along the Mt. Rose Highway. "I suppose it's time to do it," Pat Postman, Reno resident said. "It will be in our way but the road will be better."

The $10 million repaving project will happen from the base all the way to the summit, closing the road down to one lane in some areas, causing up to 30-minute delays. "They take it down to one lane and it's going to be pretty busy," Charles Baird, Reno resident said. "It's going to back up a lot of traffic."

Improvements will also go towards roadside drainage. While the pavement is not in bad shape, officials say now is the time to repair it. "We evaluate and make sure that we catch those roads before their asphalt really deteriorates, before it becomes really expensive and time consuming to reconstruct," Meg Ragonese, spokesperson for the Nevada Department of Transportation said.

Rumble strips will be installed in the Galena residential area, keeping drivers between the lines. "It really is aimed at helping prevent head-on crashes or what we call 'run off the road' crashes, when a car veers off the side of the road," Ragonese said.

Other safety enhancements include 18,000 feet of new guardrail, as well as rock removal and mesh covering on slopes to reduce the amount of rocks that fall on the road.

Most construction in residential areas will happen at night, with very little daytime work. Roadwork will continue around the clock between the tree line and the summit.

"At the end of this project, it really is going to provide a repaved, safer, enhanced Mt. Rose Highway for everyone who takes the road daily," Ragonese said.

The heavy construction and lane closures are expected to start next week. Anyone driving through those areas are asked to go the posted speed limit and keep a safe distance from cars ahead. The road work is expected to last until October.

Written by Paul Nelson
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