$400M Fisher project nearly done
The largest project taken on by both Fisher Industries and the Nevada Department of Transportation is expected to be finished in about 18 months. When completed, the $400 million Interstate 580 freeway extension project will have the largest concrete arch bridge in the country, according to the Nevada DOT.
Fisher Industries is based out of Dickinson.
The project, which began in 2007, will connect Reno to Carson City, Nev., via a six-lane freeway. The main road being used between the cities is U.S. Highway 395, said Scott Magruder, spokesman for the Nevada DOT.
"That currently carries about 40,000 cars a day," Magruder said. "You do get some head-on collisions there because it's a divided highway."
He added there aren't many alternative routes in the area.
"For over 30 years we've had this as a proposed project," Magruder said.
The project includes nine bridges, he added. The twin bridges at Galena Creek, which will be the largest of their kind, are nearing completion, said Tommy Fisher, president and chief executive officer of Fisher Industries.
The Galena Creek bridges are separated by about three feet, Fisher said. One is about 97 percent complete, the other is 60 percent complete, he added.
With the help of General Steel and Supply in Dickinson -- a division of Fisher Industries -- the bridge was constructed in a safer manner than was originally planned, Fisher said.
"It's just an amazing project. They're using some unique engineering concepts," Magruder said.
The original plan was to have workers hang from pillars to construct the bridge, but Fisher was able to do it while keeping their employees on solid ground. The construction used for the bridge will also lengthen the life of it, Fisher said.
"Between Fisher Sand and Gravel and General Steel and Supply, we didn't take no for an answer and now both of the arches are built to a higher quality than they could've ever imagined," Fisher said. "The bridge will last, per their engineers, another 20 years."
The deck of another bridge is still left to complete, Fisher said.
"We're hoping to finish all the major excavation this year and put down probably 90 percent of the roadway," Fisher said. "Next year would be the final striping and signage and stuff like that. We're hoping to have it open to the public by mid-September of the following year."