Interstate 80 has traffic volumes of about 6,500 daily vehicles through Eureka County with approximately 32% of them being trucks. Traffic has increased over the past 10 years by 2% per year. The closest annual speed monitoring station (Wendover) shows the average speed on I-80 to be approximately 75 mph and the 85th percentile (design speed) to be approximately 83 mph. The speed limit on I-80 is 75mph.
There were 577 accidents reported in Eureka Count on I-80 since 1994, with 25 fatalities. There were 21 work-zone accidents reported with 15 injuries and three fatalities. A major work-zone accident occurring in the early 2000's was revealed during the interview process but was not included in the work-zone accident data provided by NDOT.
The majority of the accidents along I-80 through Eureka County occurred in the Emigrant Pass area with nearly double the accidents compared to other segments of I-80. The top three most common accident causes over the past 10 years were "speed too fast for conditions," "inattentive driving" and "animal in roadway".
I -80, and specifically Emigrant Pass, receives top priority for snow removal and maintenance compared to other State routes within Eureka County. According to NDOT, seasonal snow, fog, wind, ash, and dust are the major weather events that affect travel along I-80. Other events not detailed in accident reports include brush fires from stalled vehicles or accidents along I-80, and trucks using alternate routes through Eureka County when I-80 is closed getting stuck or losing their load on inadequate routes.
Numerous NDOT encroachment permits for overhead and underground utilities exist along I-80 consisting mainly of phone, fiber optic, and power. Other utilities may exist outside of NDOT right-of-way or that were not included in NDOT's permits list. For example, a natural gas line crosses I-80 in the middle of the County but wasn't listed in the list of permits provided by NDOT.
Four bridge structures along I-80 near Dunphy are on the State's "structurally deficient" list. The Sufficiency Rating of these structures suggests that they can be rehabilitated in order to bring them up to sufficient standards. Three other bridges near Dunphy, not directly on I-80, are also structurally deficient. These bridges are on US 40, but could potentially disrupt nuclear waste transport by rail or road and possibly contaminate the Humboldt River if an incident occurred on these bridges.
SR 278 serves as a north/south connector through Eureka County. Traffic volumes have increased by about three percent (3%) per year on SR 278 near Carlin and Eureka (650 daily vehicles). Traffic between Carlin and Eureka has remained relatively constant at about 350 vehicles per day. NDOT reports estimate that 12.9% of the vehicles on SR 278 are trucks. Passing is allowed 85% of the length of SR 278.
One hundred and sixty-five accidents were reported in Eureka County on SR 278 since 1994, with two fatalities. There were three work-zone accidents reported with one injury and no fatalities. The top three causes of accidents on SR 278 over the past ten years are; "animals in the roadway," "inattentive driving," and "speed too fast for conditions." Existing speed data along SR 278 does not exist or was not made available from NDOT.
Weather affects documented along SR 278 from interviews with NDOT or County staff including Mormon Crickets infestations, blowing snow, and floods. SR 278 has secondary priority in snow removal and other maintenance.
One bridge on SR 278 is on the State's structurally deficient list (B-478). This bridge is within the rehabilitation category but is expected to soon qualify for complete replacement. The County airport has access from SR 278 approximately 3.5 miles north of US 50.
This route extends from I-5 in Sacramento, through Nevada, to I-215 in Utah. In Eureka County, US 50 has seen nearly no growth in traffic over the past 10 years, with average annual daily traffic volumes at under 2,000. According to NDOT, an estimated 19.6% of those vehicles are trucks. Within Eureka County passing is allowed approximately 92.5% along the length of US 50. Speeds on US 50 near Eureka are shown to be approximately 70 mph, with an 85th percentile speed of approximately 78 mph. Speed limits in the same area are 70 mph.
The top three causes of accidents on US 50 over the past ten years are "animals in the roadway", "inattentive driving," and "speed too fast for conditions." There were 208 accidents reported in Eureka Count on US 50 since 1994, with nine fatalities. There were four work-zone accidents reported with one injury and no fatalities.
Major weather occurrences on US 50 consist mainly of winter snow storms, drifting snow and flash floods. US 50 has secondary priority in snow removal and other maintenance unless recurring flooding or other events increases maintenance priorities.