Doin' the North Carson Street slide: Not so fun

Mud, water and rocks clogging a small section of North Carson Street on Wednesday evening and Thursday are not what we expect from the new freeway. Motorists fishtailing through the puddle of muddy water just north of Arrowhead Drive probably didn't think of it as an improvement.

The Nevada Highway Patrol figured out it was a problem for unsuspecting motorists making the nightly commute into Washoe Valley. It positioned two vehicles with flashing lights on either side of the road, just in front of the new freeway underpass, thanks.

Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Magruder said Thursday that engineers are aware of the problem, which was caused by heavy rain and a reseeding effort that didn't stick.

Motorists who often speed by the new North Carson Street freeway interchange might have noticed the bumpy green seeding mixture that was applied to dirt areas around the roadway several months ago. The seeding didn't take hold, which contributed to a part of the dirt hill coming down onto North Carson Street.

"NDOT and contractor Ames Construction are fixing the situation," Magruder said. "It was caused mostly by the slope giving way."

When the rain water rushed down Highway 395 and the freeway slope, that might have also overwhelmed the drainage system.

"We're taking a look at the drainage to see if it's working properly."

Magruder couldn't say if the drains were clogged from flowing debris, and if so, what needs to be done to fix them. Making sure the drainage system works properly is one of the things that needs to be checked before opening the north half of the freeway in April.

NDOT has spent about $40 million alone on its drainage system and $120 million total on the freeway construction project from Highway 395 at Arrowhead Drive to Highway 50 East.

It's a good thing they're figuring out now that motorists might not be able to leave Carson City because the freeway directs and pools water right into traffic.

We've had to wait long enough for the freeway to open, and we expect this problem to be remedied when it does.


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