RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) will be installing flashing wind warning signs for enhanced driver safety on U.S. 395 in the North Valleys. There will be roadway shoulder closures in place starting Tuesday while crews install the signs. Those shoulder closures will take place weekdays from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. through October 23 on small sections between Lemmon Drive and Village Parkway.
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 here or by dialing (775) 888-7000.
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