Commuters will be happy with a new Pyramid Highway expansion, but it will be two years of construction until they will be able to enjoy it completely.
Elected officials from Sparks, members of the Washoe Regional Transportation Commission, Nevada Department of Transportation and Granite Construction Company on Monday were at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Pyramid Highway Project.
This project will start later this week, weather permitting, and will continue for the next two years with an estimated completion date of spring 2025.
“The project is really much needed and we’re grateful for NDOT and RTC and all the partners, City of Sparks for really recognizing the need of trying to expand the traffic capabilities,” said Clara Andriola, the County Commissioner for District 4, which encompasses Spanish Springs. “I certainly appreciate the growth that we have seen and being able to expand this. It’s going to take two years but they’re really managing how we can flow and knowing that we have a long-term benefit is well worth the small sacrifice that we all might be experiencing.”
Former Commissioner Vaughn Hartung, Andriola’s predecessor, continuously advocated for upgrades on Pyramid Highway and the need for safety improvements to the corridor.
During construction lane closures will only happen at night, after 8 p.m., but commuters could face delays up to 30 minutes through the work zone. Until November of 2023, traffic will be shifted to the east side of Pyramid Highway from Queen Way to Los Altos Parkway.
From November 2023 until October 2024, traffic will be shifted to the west side for the widening to occur on the northbound lanes.
At the same time, lanes will be shifted from Los Altos Parkway to Golden View Drive between September 2023 and December 2024. From the end of 2024 until summer of 2025, the roadways will be finished paving as well as striping.
“For this phase, it’s going to be approximately two and a half miles, so one and a half miles from Queen Way to Los Altos and about .75 miles from Los Altos to Golden View,” said Nanette Maxwell, the senior project manager. “NDOT and Granite are trying their best to really minimize the impact of this project on the traveling public. So closures are only going to be done during night time however, we’re not taking lanes during the day but we are minimizing the lane widths so there’s going to be a shift and lane widths are going to be minimized up to 11 feet.”
Speed limits will be reduced to 45 mph, down from the current 55 mph, 24 hours a day. Drivers are encouraged to be careful of all road workers and obey any additional signs that will be posted throughout the work area.
The BLM recreation area west of the highway will be inaccessible during the construction and marked pedestrian detours will be in place in certain areas of construction. There will also be periodic, overnight single lane closures on cross streets such as Disc Drive and Los Altos Parkway.
In April, drivers along Pyramid Highway had to deal with lane closures which were not a part of this construction. Those closures were utility work that had to be done before this project could begin.
The cost of the two-year project is about $66 million and will widen Pyramid Highway enough to accommodate the nearly 50,000 cars that travel this stretch of road every day. The RTC secured a $23 million federal BUILD grant to help fund the project.
Along with road widening, other roadway features will be added such as raised medians, smart traffic signals, new curbs and sidewalks, bicycle lanes and better lighting.
The end result will have three lanes going in each direction, divided by the median and have a bicycle lane on each side as well as a shared use path on the northbound lane.
Project information is available on PyramidHighway.com as well calling (775) 230-7282 or texting “PYRAMID” to (775) 242-9168 for project updates.