Interstate 580 Nevada
Interstate 580 overlays the U.S. 395 freeway in western Nevada between Fairview Drive in Carson City and Interstate 80 in Reno. Completion of the freeway through Washoe Valley connected the Nevada capital city to the Interstate system for the fist time. I-580 serves both through traffic and commuters, varying between urban stretches through Reno and Carson City, and hugging the eastern slopes of Steamboat Hills to the Galena Creek concrete arch bridge overlooking Pleasant Valley.
— AARoads (@AARoads) July 17, 2017
Opened at 10 AM on August 2, 2017,8 the 3.146 mile link from Fairview Drive (Exit 38) south to U.S. 50 and 395 at South Carson Street completed the 35-mile Interstate. Exit numbers along I-580 use U.S. 395 mileposts, counting up from the California state line at Topaz Lake.
High Priority Corridor
Interstate 580 in Nevada is part of High Priority Corridor 68: Washoe County Corridor and U.S. 95 Las Vegas to Reno Corridor.
The signing of Interstate 580 varied over the decades leading up to 2012, when the route was fully signed along U.S. 395 from Carson City northward. Prior to that time, the route was unmarked and only acknowledged on NDOT mileposts along the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Highway through Reno as IR 580.
During the early to mid 1980s, Jeff Royston noted that some shielding for Interstate 580 may have been posted. Dave Billeci further added that in 1983 he observed cosignage for I-580 and U.S. 395 in Reno south of the interchange with Interstate 80, as well as on overhead signs along I-80 east at the exchange. He noted that these were removed a few years later.1
The 2002 FHWA Route Log and Finders List officially recognized Interstate 580 as extending between Neil Road (formerly Del Monte Lane) north to Interstate 80 at Exit 15 via U.S. 395. However, a 1984 letter agreement previously gave FHWA approval to extend I-580 along additional segments of freeway as they were constructed.2
With the completion of the Galena Creek/Pleasant Valley Bypass in August 2012, the route from U.S. 50 (Williams Street) in Carson City north to Reno was designated as Interstate 580, with signs installed throughout the route by October 2012. The lone exception was the segment of the Carson City Freeway spurring south to Fairview Drive. NDOT listed that portion officially as a part of IR580, but signed it solely as U.S. 50. With completion of Phase 2B-2 south from Fairview Drive to South Carson Street, I-580 was fully signed south of Williams Street.
Planning for a the North-South Freeway in Reno started in 1957. Studies underway by 1963 resulted in a recommended freeway alignment in 1968. Community opposition however, and lawsuits filed in 1972 and 1973, required an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) be conducted. Meanwhile work on the freeway north from Reno was underway, with U.S. 395 completed from Exit 67 (2nd Street / Glendale Avenue) to Exit 72 (North Virginia Street) at Panther Valley. This section opened to traffic in 1973.3
North End – Reno, NV
South End – Carson City, NV
Mileage – 35.02 (35.05*)
Cities – Carson City, Reno
- Junctions –
Source: 2019 State Maintained Highways of Nevada, Descriptions and Maps (NDOT)
* – December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-580 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)
|Location||Vehicles per day|
|Exits 38 to 39||33,000|
|Exits 39 to 41||36,000|
|Exits 41 to 42||33,000|
|Exits 43 to 44||43,500|
|Exits 44 to 46||39,000|
|Exits 46 to 50||39,000|
|Exits 50 to 56||36,000|
|Exits 56 to 57A||53,000|
|Exits 57A to 59||59,000|
|Exits 59 to 60||86,500|
|Exits 60 to 61||110,000|
|Exits 61 to 62||116,000|
|Exits 63 to 64||134,000|
|Exits 64 to 65||162,000|
|Exits 65 to 66||182,000|
|Exit 67 to I-80||168,000|
The Final EIS for the North-South Freeway was completed in January 1977. Construction followed on the limited access highway from Exit 67 (Glendale Avenue) south to Exit 63 (South Virginia Street). This section opened in 1980.3
A Supplemental EIS for the U.S. 395 freeway leading south from Exit 63 to Winters Ranch (near Exit 50) was conducted from 1979 to 1983. Construction got underway afterwards, with the North-South Freeway completed from Exits 63 to 61 in 1983. The remainder south to Exit 56 (SR 431 / Mt. Rose Highway) was finished in 1998.3
Work on the I-580 Freeway Extension Project, the highway paralleling U.S. 395 to the west from Steamboat south to Pleasant Valley and Washoe City, was underway in 2003.3 Simultaneously to the south, construction on the Carson City Freeway portion of I-580 upgraded a four-lane segment of U.S. 395 to Interstate standards at Lakeview and the Washoe County / Carson City line. Costing over $200 million, ground breaking for Phase 1 of the Carson City Freeway took place in 2000.4
The $555 million I-580 Freeway Extension Project ran through 2012, with the 8.5 mile section, and the 1,700 foot long and 300 foot high Galena Creek cathedral arch bridge, the largest structure of its kind, fully opened to traffic on August 27.5 The Carson City Freeway project opened initially from Lakeview south to U.S. 50 (William Street) on February 16, 2006. The 1.8 mile link south from the SPUI with William Street to Fairview Drive was finished in September 2009.6
The freeway around Carson City was officially dedicated as the Carson City Deputy Sheriff Carl Howell Memorial Freeway in December 2015.4 A six feet tall metal sculpture of an eagle at the south end of the freeway honors the name of Eagle Valley, where Carson City sits. A similar sculpture is located at the north end of the freeway at Arrowhead Drive.7
A community free fun walk, run and ride celebrated the opening of the last leg of the Carson City Freeway on July 22, 2017. The $42.24 million7 section opened to motorists on August 2.
Future work will upgrade the signalized south end of I-580 at the partition with U.S. 50 west to Lake Tahoe and U.S. 395 south to Minden to a single point urban interchange (SPUI). Estimated to cost $20 million or more,7, this work is scheduled for the mid-2020’s as funding becomes available.4,6
North End – Reno, Nevada
South End / South Carson Street – Carson City, Nevada
- Billeci, Dave. Personal Email, “A I-580 NEVADA FACTOID” from March 23, 2006.
- Spring 2012 Applications for AASHTO Special Committee on Route Numbering.
- Project History and Overview,
http://www.freewayextension.comI-580 Extension Project web site.
- "Community invited to fun run/walk event to celebrate Carson City freeway opening." Northern Nevada Business Weekly, July 6, 2017.
- "Work nears completion on Reno-Carson freeway." Associated Press State Wire: Nevada (NV), May 29, 2012.
- Nevada Department of Transportation : I-580 / U.S. 395,
https://www.nevadadot.com/projects-programs/road-projects/carson-city-freewayNDOT project web site.
- "Carson City Bypass to open first week in August." Nevada Appeal (Carson City, NV), June 17, 2017.
- "New freeway to save drivers time in Carson City." KOLO 8 (Carson City, NV), August 2, 2017.
Page updated August 5, 2017.