The RTC works in conjunction with the local governments (City of Reno, City of Sparks, and Washoe County) to maintain and improve transportation on Regional Roads throughout the Truckee Meadows area. Since RTC does not own or operate Regional Roads, RTC works closely with the local governments to select projects on a needs based system, to ensure regional transportation goals and long range plans are achieved regardless of jurisdictional boundaries. RTC's Street & Highway program implements three sub-programs to maintain and improve transportation on Regional Roads owned and operated by the Local Governments throughout the Truckee Meadows area.
The key to implementing successful preventive maintenance and pavement reconstruction programs is to identify the most cost effective treatment and apply it to the right pavement at the right time. RTC and the local governments use a Pavement Management System (PMS) software program to assess the current condition of Regional Roads and to select appropriate streets for preventive maintenance treatments or pavement reconstruction. The PMS uses a rating system to evaluate the pavement condition. The local governments all use the same PMS program, which classifies and rates a pavement condition with a numerical index rating from 100 for a new pavement, to 0 for a failed pavement. Pavements are rated at least once every three years, providing the RTC and local governments with an excellent data source on a pavement's current condition.
Preservation and longevity of pavements is the primary interest with the Preventive Maintenance Program. This Program targets streets in good condition and typically involves the application of slurry seal to seal small cracks and revitalize the pavement surface. This low cost treatment (about 40 cents per square foot) seals the pavement surface to keep water from penetrating the pavement surface and creating potholes. Additionally, it keeps streets from falling into total disrepair and avoids costly reconstruction.
RTC funds the Preventive Maintenance Program through revenues generated through a 1/16% Sales Tax.
RTC in cooperation with the local governments select Regional Roads for preventive maintenance projects on pavements which have an index rating of 55 and above. Typically, preventive maintenance treatments include: sealing wide cracks, fixing potholes, and applying a slurry seal to seal small cracks to rejuvenate the pavement surface. These low cost treatments help good pavements stay in good condition. A goal of RTC's preventive maintenance program is to treat Regional Roads at least once every 5-7 years.
Additional information can be obtained from RTC's Regional Preventive Maintenance Program Manual.
Unfortunately, there are roadways in the Truckee Meadows that are in poor condition and can no longer hold up to the expected traffic loads. For many of these roadways, a complete reconstruction that includes both the pavement and soils beneath the pavement is needed to meet the expected traffic loads over a 20 year period and improve the ride quality. This type of project can cost up to $9 per square foot of treatment.
RTC targets the Fuel Tax revenues towards the Regional Roads Pavement Reconstruction Program.
Each year, in cooperation with the local governments, RTC develops a list of potential reconstruction projects for Regional Roads with a pavement condition index of 55 and below. This list is prioritized based on the amount of traffic; higher traffic is higher priority. This ensures the investment made for new pavements provides the most benefit to the largest number of highway users.
Since revenues are limited from year to year, only the top 10-15 streets from the list are selected for further investigation. Additional investigation is necessary to ensure other projects, such as underground utility work or private development projects, do not conflict with pavement reconstruction efforts. RTC takes great effort to ensure public funds are not misused reconstructing streets, only to have the new pavement torn up shortly after completion. If a street drops out of consideration due to a conflict with other municipal projects, then the next street from the list of potential reconstruction projects takes its place. A project removed from the current year's list of projects will be re-evaluated the following year.
Once the investigation phase of the potential project list is completed, the list is presented to the RTC Board of Commissioners for approval.
Additional information can be obtained from RTC's Regional Road Reconstruction Project Selection Process Manual.
The Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) identifies hundreds of capacity improvement projects that will be needed over the next 20 to 30 years to meet the community's goals for mobility, congestion, and air quality. RTC targets the Road Impact Fee revenues towards the Congestion Relief Program. Additionally, State and Federal funding may also be targeted to congestion relief. Funding is not available to construct all of these projects at one time. A capacity project priority setting process has been developed by the RTC in collaboration with the City of Reno, City of Sparks, and Washoe County. The process assures that available funding is spent on building projects having the greatest benefit for the community at the time they are needed, that is, building the right project at the right time.
The steps of the process are summarized as follows: