So far, so good.
More than three months after ground was broken on the much-needed $73 million renovation of the Pyramid-McCarran intersection, the timeline remains unchanged. Granite Construction, the company of record for the project, and the Regional Transportation Committee (RTC) are still targeting a spring of 2018 completion.
“This project is on schedule,” Joe Harrington, RTC public information officer, said. “We’ve had great weather to get this work done. We’ll be continuing out there even during the cold months, there’s some work we can do. The temperature only affects when we’re doing the paving, and that’s still a ways out.”
With more than 60,000 vehicles using the intersection in Sparks daily, Pyramid-McCarran is one of the most-used intersections in Northern Nevada. To compensate for the use, a through-lane is being added in each direction on Pyramid and dedicated turning lanes will be added to McCarran.
A “paved multi-use path” is also being built along the eastern side of Pyramid that “will be perfect for bicyclists and pedestrians.” The path will be accompanied by a wall, decorated with a design chosen by the community.
So how is construction affecting drivers?
The speed limit has been reduced to 35 miles per hour north of the intersection and traffic west of the intersection on McCarran has been shifted to the north half of the road “while crews work on improving the southern side of the road closest to the shopping plaza.”
At least one entrance to the shopping center will remain open throughout construction.
“We are committed to preserving access to the businesses throughout the project,” Harrington said.
All traffic on McCarran west of the intersection is projected to remain in a single lane for a few months through the fall.
“Right now, they’re kind of out there doing some earth moving. That’s really what I would say is the majority of the work that’s taking place,” Harrington said. “That has to occur before we can do some of the other improvements.”
Ground was first broken on the project the first week of April but the planning process began nearly nine years ago. To make room for the widening earlier this year, 67 homes, three commercial businesses and a church were bulldozed.
Delays at the busy crossroad will remain over the next year and a half, but Harrington, who uses the intersection himself, said commuters appear to be adjusting to the traffic cones.
“As someone who personally drives through that intersection at least twice a day, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that there haven’t been larger traffic jams,” he said. “People really seem to be planning ahead or doing other things to modify their route so they can get to where they need to go on time.”
Those with questions about the progression of the project, or interested in signing up for the weekly letter put out by the RTC, can visit pyramidmccarran.com.