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RTC Commissioners,

Below, you will find your April 2015 RTC Board Update e-News. This electronic newsletter will be distributed monthly the week following your Board meeting. Please contact Michael Moreno or me with any questions you may have. Michael can be reached at (775) 335-1869 or email at mmoreno@rtcwashoe.com.

Lee G. Gibson, AICP, Executive Director
Ph: (775) 348-0400 Fax: (775) 324-3503
E-mail: lgibson@rtcwashoe.com

WORK BEGINS ON PHASE 2 OF THE SOUTHEAST CONNECTOR

SouthEast Connector Phase 2 YouTube Preview
This video illustrates the project boundaries and highlights the environmental benefits the SouthEast Connector will provide.

Construction of the second and final phase of the SouthEast Connector (SEC) project began April 20 after the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued a key permit. The permit was needed under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. In making its decision, the USACE affirmed the design, engineering and environmental analysis that has gone into the project since day-one. The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection also found the project to be “protective of human health and the environment.”

The RTC received a fully executed and signed permit on Thursday, April 16, 2015, from the USACE. There is no additional review that is needed or that will be conducted by the USACE or any regulatory agency. The remaining standard construction permits are being obtained.

The SEC, an environmental engineering project, will link Sparks to south Reno, providing crucial congestion relief on numerous roadways including I-580. The first phase of the project involved the construction of the first mile of the overall five and a half mile roadway. Phase one was completed in July, under budget and ahead of schedule.

The project includes extensive environmental benefits. Seven acres of unhealthy wetlands will become a new 80 acre wetland complex that is self-sustaining. Additionally, more than 600 new trees will be planted. Historic mercury, left over from the Comstock mining days, will be removed from exposure to the environment by permanently encapsulating the soil with the highest mercury concentration under the roadway. Modeling shows this will prevent 22,000 pounds of mercury from potentially ending up in local waters.

The project also utilizes vegetation to create a system that actually cleans water. Insects that live in this unique ecosystem will also eat runoff from the urban environment that contaminates water in the Yori Drain.

The Veterans Memorial Bridge, which was constructed during the first phase of the project, also has a higher flood tolerance than the nearby McCarran Boulevard Bridge. This provides a higher level of emergency access that does not exist today and gives people a new escape route during an emergency and prevents part of the community from being cut off. The SEC does not increase flood waters near homes or businesses.

To familiarize the public with this project, the RTC will hold a community open house this summer. A ceremonial community groundbreaking event will also take place in the coming weeks.

The project is anticipated to be complete in late 2017, and the road will officially be named Veterans Parkway. For information about the project and to receive updates, subscribe at www.SouthEastConnector.com.

VIRGINIA STREET BUS RAPID TRANSIT EXTENSION PROJECT

Members of the community viewed preliminary concepts for Virginia Street and provided feedback at the Discovery Museum community meeting on April 14.

The RTC heard comments and ideas from the public on the future of Virginia Street at two community information meetings. Design concepts were presented for the Midtown and University of Nevada, Reno areas. The Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension project will result in improvements for people traveling by bus, bicycle, auto, and on foot. This project will improve pedestrian safety and help develop a great public space that is accessible to all.

The project will extend RTC RAPID transit service up to UNR. The extension will enable passengers to avoid making a transfer at RTC 4TH STREET STATION and help people better connect to educational and employment opportunities and the Midtown district. The project also includes the possibility of a gateway feature to welcome people to UNR’s campus.

Members of the public shared their ideas and comments at two public meetings in mid-April. One meeting took place at the University of Nevada, Reno and the other took place at the Discovery Museum. The meetings generated a great deal of feedback with at least 175 participating. The RTC is also meeting with interested stakeholder groups during the design phase to listen to their ideas for the project.

Stakeholders will be providing guidance and input through a Community Working Group (CWG). The CWG is made up of small business owners, area residents, downtown gaming representatives and other members of the public. In addition, there is a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), which includes representatives of the University of Nevada, Reno, NV Energy, Washoe County and the City of Reno, among others. The concepts will be refined with additional opportunities for public input as the preliminary design process continues. Input is also being sought from the Reno City Council.

A new web site has been launched that is dedicated to the project. Visit the site at: http://virginiastreetrapidextension.com and subscribe to receive project updates and upcoming meeting information.

YOUR SAFETY IS OUR #1 PRIORITY

Safety is Our Priority YouTube screenshot
View the RTC safety message highlighting Complete Street treatments on our regional roads.

A new RTC safety message is airing on local television. The message depicts a mom on a typical commute with her young child. During their drive, road features are highlighted that enhance safety for everyone. Street improvements featured in the message are Complete Streets, or streets with separate spaces for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. This street treatment has been shown to enhance safety, reduce the severity of crashes and encourages people to substitute vehicle trips with greener alternatives. Share the message with others using this RTC TV link: https://youtu.be/0o5gBYI3B3g.

Safety is the top priority for the RTC and guides the design for street improvements. There are many opportunities for members of the public to discuss safety concerns with the RTC. E-mails, social media communications and phone calls are just a few methods – the RTC also holds numerous public meetings throughout the year. Public input is the foundation for all of the projects and services we deliver.

MAYBERRY DRIVE RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT COMPLETED EARLY

Finished in late April, the Mayberry Drive reconstruction project is improving accessibility for everyone in the community.

The reconstruction of Mayberry Drive from Charles Drive to Hunter Lake Drive is completed about a month ahead of schedule and under budget. The RTC created a new, smoother asphalt surface. Gutter, sidewalk and curb improvements were also made. Accessibility has been improved for everyone under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, components of the traffic signal at Mayberry Drive and Hunter Lake Drive were replaced. Much of the work took place during spring break for students at nearby Hunter Lake Elementary School, enabling crews to make progress and finish early.

Safety is the RTC’s number-one priority, and this project is making conditions safer for everyone. New pavement markings are easier to see, audible pedestrian cues were added at Mayberry Drive and Hunter Lake Drive and the traffic signal was modernized.

MAY IS NATIONAL BIKE MONTH, BIKE WEEK COMING UP

Bike Week Commercial 2015 YouTube Screenshot
Bike Week will take place May 9-15, with a week of fun, healthy activities.

Lots of fun activities are planned for Bike Week, May 9-15, to promote a healthy and green method of getting around – bicycling! A pancake breakfast, family fun ride and bike clinics are all planned. Bike Week is made possible through the Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance, which RTC is a founding member. A full schedule of daily activities is at http://BikeWashoe.org.

New this year, May 11 will be Midtown Monday with events in the parking lot at Statewide Lighting, located near Virginia and Arroyo streets. Games and prizes will be part of the fun, along with RTC representatives demonstrating how to load and unload bikes on buses. We will also distribute the 2015 Reno/Sparks Bike Map. This is the first year the free maps were printed in both English and Spanish.

The RTC is also encouraging people to fill out a survey to aid in collecting data for the Bike Share Study. This study will help us determine the feasibility of a bike share program in the Truckee Meadows. Please take a moment to complete a short survey at: http://www.rtc-bikeshare.com.

RTC FINANCE DEPARTMENT: YOUR RTC. OUR COMMUNITY.

Photo of RTC Finance Department

Your RTC staff are an integral part of our community and, like you, want a vibrant and thriving place to live and raise our families. I want to introduce you to the staff of the Finance Department, and showcase their role at RTC, and in our community. We will continue to introduce different members of the RTC family in future e-News editions.

The department is led by Chief Financial Officer Stephanie Haddock (pictured center), and has many important responsibilities. Among them are monthly and annual financial reporting, payroll and benefits, grant applications, procurement and compliance, and preparing the annual budget.

The Government and Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the RTC in 2015 for its comprehensive annual financial report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014. This was the 28th consecutive year that the RTC has achieved this prestigious award.

As required by state law, the RTC is audited by an independent certified accounting firm to review the financial statements, assess compliance with federal requirements and ensure appropriate agency internal controls. It is the annual goal of the RTC to achieve no findings and no management comments as an outcome of the annual certified audit. This is a challenging goal that has been achieved in the past. The completed certified audit for fiscal year ended June 30, 2014 did in fact have no findings and no management comments.

The Finance Department, in partnership with other government entities administers the Disadvantaged Business Enterprises program for procurement opportunities and contract award information. Our program provides business opportunities for those DBEs who are interested in contracting services with the RTC. Click on this link RTC DBE to learn more. Register at www.ebidexchange.com/rtc to receive automatic notification of Invitation for Bids, Request for Proposals, Request for Qualifications and Request for Quotes. Registration is free.

As a recipient of federal dollars from the Federal Transit Administration, the agency will be reviewed May 11 and 12 by the FTA as part of the Triennial Review to ensure compliance with regulations. The finance department will lead the review for the agency.

Upcoming Meetings/Events

May 6
May 9-15
May 15
May 27
Your RTC. Our Community.