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State Route 439 (SR 439) is a four-lane state highway in Lyon, Storey and Washoe Counties in Nevada. Better known as USA Parkway, the route connects U.S. Route 50 (US 50) in Silver Springs to Interstate 80 (I-80) east of RenoSparks via the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRIC). The northern portion of USA Parkway was initially constructed by the industrial center's developers; however, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) agreed to assume control of the road after Tesla announced plans to build its Gigafactory at TRIC in 2014. NDOT opened the extension of SR 439 south to US 50 in Lyon County on September 8, 2017.

State Route 439 marker

State Route 439
USA Parkway
Route information
Maintained by NDOT
Length 18.5 mi (29.8 km)
Major junctions
South end US 50 in Silver Springs
North end I‑80 east of Sparks
Location
Counties Washoe, Storey, Lyon
Highway system
  • Highways in Nevada
SR 431SR 443

Contents

Route descriptionEdit

 
OpenStreetMap showing SR 439 location with respect to Reno, Carson City and Fernley

SR 439 serves as a four-lane highway connector of I-80 and US 50. The south end is at a roundabout with US 50 west of Silver Springs, near Silver Springs Airport in Lyon County. From there, the road heads northwest into mountainous terrain, providing access to the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center and the Tesla Gigafactory. The highway continues to its end at a modified diamond interchange with I-80 17 miles (27 km) east of Sparks, in Washoe County.

HistoryEdit

 
View north along SR 439

The owners of the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center constructed the 6-mile USA Parkway between I-80 and TRIC for $60 million in 2001[1] specifically to provide access to TRIC (touted as the largest industrial park in the United States) in Storey County.[2][3][4]

As of August 2009, it was reported that 10 mi (16 km) of roadway had been completed—the southernmost 4 mi (6.4 km) to the Lyon county line had only been graded and were still awaiting pavement—while roughly 7 mi (11 km) of the route to reach US 50 remained unconstructed.[5]

Expansion plansEdit

As the plans for TRIC were realized with many large companies moving in,[6] greater plans were made for USA Parkway. As early as 2004, the road was proposed to connect with US 50 near Silver Springs, for a total distance between I-80 and US 50 of about 18 miles (29 km).[7] The connection to Silver Springs would increase regional mobility and provide air-freight shipping possibilities at nearby Silver Springs Airport.[8] Proponents of the USA Parkway southern expansion proposed the idea of having USA Parkway accepted into Nevada's state highway system as State Route 805, but NDOT did not take such action.

In 2012 and early 2013, the road network was found to fall short of TRIC's future needs. Expansion for 2017 was calculated to have a network-wide benefit–cost ratio of 9.1 (with 30-year benefits of $600 million for costs of $66 million),[9][10] and a travel reduction time of 38%,[11] as the increased traffic could use the shorter 439 for TRIC and avoid the congestion around Reno.

Expansion projectEdit

Tesla announced plans to locate its "Gigafactory" battery production facility at TRIC in September 2014.[12] By 2015, NDOT had officially recognized the northernmost 6.259 miles (10.073 km) of USA Parkway as State Route 439.[13] Inadequate traffic management on SR439 sometimes caused traffic to back up out on the freeway, and the Wal-Mart trucks struggle to operate on time.[14] At the end points of the future SR439, the combined traffic of I-80 and US50 was around 30,000 vehicles per day in 2015.[15] The interchange between I-80 and SR439 had a low level of service as of 2016, causing congestion. The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County views the improvements as insufficient for the expected area development.[16]

To support the projected travel demand of 6,000 vehicles per day, the Nevada Department of Transportation's Board of Directors approved a design-build project to complete the southern extension of USA Parkway in an expedited manner, two years earlier than projected.[17] The project, which involved NDOT taking over USA Parkway for $43 million and upgraded to highway standards, was planned for completion in December 2017 and was expected to cost between $65 million and $70 million. The funds to fast-track the USA Parkway build-out were obtained by deferring maintenance projects on seven low-priority northern Nevada highways.[18][15] The contract price was $75.9 million.[19] 80 workers were on site 24/6 building the road in stages,[20][21] with paving started in October 2016.[22] A two-lane roundabout was built at US50.[23][24] The I-80 ramps were also improved due to heavy traffic.[25][26] The extension opened for access on September 8, 2017, on budget and three months ahead of schedule.[27]

Major intersectionsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ribbon cutting ceremony celebrates pending opening of USA Parkway". Fernley Reporter. August 28, 2017. Retrieved September 7, 2017. 
  2. ^ Bonnenfant, Brian (February 8, 2009). "Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center: A Public-Private Partnership on Steroids". Center for Regional Studies, University of Nevada, Reno. Archived from the original on June 22, 2016. Retrieved October 23, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Owner of Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center says he just likes to build". Nevada Appeal. October 18, 2007. Archived from the original on October 23, 2016. Retrieved October 23, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Lance Gilman's $43 million Tesla payoff has believer—and critics". Las Vegas Sun. December 30, 2014. Archived from the original on March 30, 2016. Retrieved October 23, 2016. 
  5. ^ Hagar, Ray (August 14, 2009). "Traditions Casino work to start in late 2009 or 2010". Reno Gazette Journal. Retrieved September 2, 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center: Oasis in the Desert". September 2010. Retrieved September 22, 2014. 
  7. ^ "18 mile road next on slate for industrial center". Nevada Appeal. September 5, 2004. Retrieved January 3, 2007. (Subscription required (help)). 
  8. ^ "Developer expected to build parkway between Highway 50, Interstate 80". Nevada Appeal. February 21, 2006. Retrieved January 3, 2007. (Subscription required (help)). 
  9. ^ "Benefit-Cost Analysis Memorandum" (PDF). Nevada Department of Transportation. January 7, 2013. p. 11-14. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 4, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2016. 
  10. ^ http://www.nevadadot.com/home/showdocument?id=6384[full citation needed]
  11. ^ "Traffic Operations Analysis Memorandum" (PDF). Nevada Department of Transportation. August 28, 2012. p. 13+39. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 4, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2016. 
  12. ^ Wald, Matthew L. (September 4, 2014). "Nevada a Winner in Tesla's Battery Contest". The New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2017. 
  13. ^ a b Nevada Department of Transportation (January 2017). "State Maintained Highways of Nevada: Descriptions and Maps". Nevada Department of Transportation. pp. 14, 215. Retrieved April 10, 2017. 
  14. ^ Haymore, Dean; Story County Commission (July 6, 2015). Tesla: Tahoe Reno Industrial Center. Ron Bell. 21–24 minutes in – via YouTube. 
  15. ^ a b Hidalgo, Jason (July 27, 2015). "USA Parkway construction bids due in the fall". Reno Gazette-Journal. Retrieved September 9, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Truckee Canyon Industrial Zone change Proposal" (PDF). Washoe County. October 5, 2016. p. 30, 35, 40. 
  17. ^ http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2016/06/08/ndot-usa-parkway-open-late-2017/85609130/[full citation needed]
  18. ^ Dornan, Geoff (November 28, 2014). "Design/build methods approved for USA Parkway". Nevada Appeal. Retrieved July 26, 2015. 
  19. ^ Nevada Department of Transportation (Spring–Summer 2016). "Project Update". Nevada Department of Transportation. 
  20. ^ "USA Parkway 20% complete". Reno Gazette-Journal. August 19, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016. 
  21. ^ Construction video, grading on YouTube. Aerial view on YouTube. Pre-opening on YouTube[full citation needed]
  22. ^ "Nevada DOT Begins USA Parkway Extension Paving". Nevada Business News. October 24, 2016. Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  23. ^ "One step closer to USA Parkway; Silver Springs roundabout open". Reno Gazette Journal. July 18, 2017. Retrieved September 7, 2017. 
  24. ^ US50 roundabout (at 1 minute 13 seconds) on YouTube NDOT[full citation needed]
  25. ^ "NDOT to enhance heavily-traveled USA Parkway interstate ramp". Fernley Reporter. August 11, 2017. Retrieved September 7, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Weekend detour in place for USA Parkway interstate ramp improvements". Fernley Reporter. September 20, 2017. Retrieved September 23, 2017. 
  27. ^ "NDOT opens USA Parkway Extension 3 months ahead of schedule" (Press release). Nevada Department of Transportation. September 8, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2017 – via Carson Now. 

External linksEdit