Exit 21, Vista Blvd, Interstate 80 Eastbound, Sparks, Nevada
Interstate 80 (I-80) traverses the northern portion of the U.S. state of Nevada. The freeway serves the Reno–Sparks metropolitan area, and also goes through the towns of Fernley, Lovelock, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, Elko, Wells, and West Wendover on its way through the state.
I-80 follows the historical routes of the California Trail, First Transcontinental Railroad, and Feather River Route throughout portions of Nevada. Throughout the entire state I-80 follows the historical routes of the Victory Highway, State Route 1, and U.S. Route 40 (US 40). The freeway corridor follows the paths of the Truckee and Humboldt Rivers. These rivers have been used as a transportation corridor since the California Gold Rush of the 1840s.
I-80 enters Nevada in the canyon of the Truckee River, paralleling the California Trail and the First Transcontinental Railroad. Upon exiting the canyon the freeway serves the Truckee Meadows, a name for the urban area consisting of Verdi, Reno, and Sparks. The freeway passes north of Downtown Reno in a depressed alignment before intersecting Interstate 580 / U.S. Route 395. The intersection with US 395 is the busiest portion, averaging 122,000 vehicles per day in 2006. The freeway passes through downtown Sparks via a viaduct over the casino floor of John Ascuaga's Nugget Casino Resort. After leaving the Reno/Sparks metropolitan area the freeway resumes following the Truckee River in a canyon to Fernley. Traffic volumes drop to 26,600 vehicles per day by Fernley and continue dropping to 8,400 by the time the freeway reaches the center of the state. The freeway exits the Truckee River corridor near Wadsworth.