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Shoulder Closures Though Oct. 23 on U.S. 395 in North Valleys as NDOT Installs Wind Warning Signs

CARSON CITY, Nev. – Roadway shoulder closures are in place through Oct. 23 on U.S. 395 in the North Valleys as the Nevada Department of Transportation installs flashing wind warning signs for enhanced driver safety. Shoulder closures will take place weekdays Oct. 13 through Oct. 23 from 6a.m.-5p.m. on small sections of both directions of U.S. 395 between Lemmon Drive and Village Parkway as roadside wind warning flashers are installed. 

In May, crews installed underground conduit, wiring and signage as the first phase of the project. Now, crews are installing lights on the signs which will flash during high winds.

Over coming weeks, the six wind warning signs, three in each direction, will be unveiled between Golden Valley and Bordertown. Lights on the advisory signs will flash when wind gusts reach 45 mph or greater, notifying drivers of high-profile vehicles of nine feet or taller that travel through the area is not advised, and cautioning drivers of all other vehicles to reduce speeds. 

In addition, four signs are being installed advising motorists to be aware of deer crossing in the area. 

While similar to NDOT’s wind warning system in Washoe Valley, the North Valleys system will advise against, but not prohibit, high-profile vehicle travel. NDOT will conduct a study evaluating impacts and logistics of a potential future system prohibiting high-profile vehicles in the North Valleys. Wind speed thresholds and other elements of the system could be changed at that time.

In the past five years, twelve crashes have been recorded in the area associated with high winds; many resulting in vehicles being overturned.

"U.S. 395 through the North Valleys is a particularly wind-prone location in Nevada, up there with well-known wind tunnel Washoe Valley in terms of impacts to travelers,” National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Smallcomb explained. “Ahead of stronger winter storms between October and April, screaming south-southwest winds come over Peavine Mountain at over 100 mph then crash down the steep north slopes like a wave does at the beach. When this wave of air slams into the valley, it's right along 395 especially near Stead and Red Rock exits, producing gusts over 80 mph - the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane."

Further state transportation information is available at nevadadot.com or by dialing (775) 888-7000. 

HIGH WIND DRIVING SAFETY TIPS

  • Plan ahead. Leave extra time, as your drive may take longer as you drive more slowly in high winds.
  • Always wear a seatbelt. 
  • Slow your speed to a safe driving speed and turn on headlights if needed to account for potentially lower visibility created by blowing dust, sand, snow or rain.
  • Keep your hands firmly on the wheel.
  • Make steering corrections when driving from wind-protected areas to unprotected areas. The wind may suddenly move your car when traveling from a protected to unprotected area.