On a cold night in March the long awaited V&T Railway Bridge overcrossing of US 50 was completed. The 77 ton sections of the bridge were placed on reinforced concrete abutments and center pier by the use of a single crane. The entire bridge construction was completed between November of 2008 and March 25, 2009. In order to reuse the bridge, the super structure had to be sandblasted to remove lead paint and then structural repairs completed for areas of rust and corrosion. The bridge was donated to the project by NDOT from their Interstate 15 widening project in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bridge had been in service on the mainline of the Union Pacific since 1962.
The overall V&T Railway Reconstruction Project when completed will total 17 miles and link Carson City to Virginia City over much of the original route. The Railroad was first constructed in 1869 to serve the mines and mills of the Comstock Mining District. The V&T was one of richest and famous short lines ever constructed. Operations between Carson City and Virginia City ceased in 1938. The reconstruction project is intended to create a historic tourist railway to promote economic development in the region by capitalizing on the legacy of the V&T. In addition to the economic considerations the project is restoring a sense of pride in the local communities for the role that Nevada played in building the nation. The bridge raising is an especially historic milestone for the project in the sense that the bridge is the first significant construction completed in Carson City after 17 years of efforts by the local community.
Geocon performed the geotechnical site investigation for the bridge foundation design and did all of the construction observation and special inspection for the grading, reinforced concrete and structural steel. With the completion of the bridge, rail construction can now continue with the anticipated completion of this phase in mid June. Construction costs will be approximately 6.5 million dollars. Total construction costs for the completed project are anticipated to reach approximately 55 million dollars of which 38 million will have been expended to build 12 miles of the route including the current phase.