The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County welcomes the community back to Midtown. Construction on the Midtown segment of the Virginia Street Project is nearly complete and Virginia Street will reopen to two-way traffic in Midtown on Friday, August 14 at 5 p.m.
Midtown is now safer and easier to access than ever before. Opening Midtown back to two-way traffic was achieved three months early due to modified business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic that allowed Sierra Nevada Construction (SNC) crews to close parts of Virginia Street to finish paving operations earlier than planned.
The community is invited to visit and support Midtown businesses, stroll along the new, wide sidewalks along this iconic Reno roadway, see the new trees and landscaping, and enjoy all that Midtown has to offer. There are also new crosswalks in Midtown to help create a more pedestrian-friendly environment, a new traffic configuration to improve safety and traffic flow, and new streetlights to help increase nighttime visibility and corridor ambiance. The wide sidewalks now meet ADA standards and allow everyone in our community to experience the vibrant Midtown District. This project represents a significant investment of $90 million into Midtown as it becomes an even more must-visit destination in our region.
While the roadway will reopen to two-way traffic in Midtown on Friday, construction crews are finishing landscaping, finalizing construction on the new Bus RAPID Transit (BRT) stations, and doing final clean-up work through September. Drivers can still anticipate minor lane closures and brief work-day detours as crews finish these remaining punch-list items.
The RTC is also supporting the City of Reno’s efforts as they install a new art sculpture, bike racks, and benches through October.
Construction on the Virginia Street Project continues by the University of Nevada, Reno, where crews are reconstructing the roadway and sidewalks, and building new transit stations. Construction on the segment of the project near the University is anticipated to wrap up in the fall of 2020.
The final project feature, the extension of Bus RAPID Transit service, will launch in 2021. The transit extension will connect RTC’s RAPID Virginia Line from Meadowood Mall to the University. The convenient, quick, transit service will improve RTC’s transit access through Reno’s busiest travel corridor and make transit a more-competitive transportation choice. The new route will also make it easier for University students, faculty, and staff to use transit, which is anticipated to help ease parking and traffic congestion around the University.
The RTC began the Virginia Street Project in Midtown on September 4, 2018, when crews began phase one of the project to replace aging underground utilities. Phase one was completed on March 14, 2019. Phase two of the project began on June 17, 2019 and will continue through fall of 2020, when construction near the University is anticipated to be complete.
The RTC would like to thank our partners in the Virginia Street Project, the City of Reno, University of Nevada, Reno, the Federal Transit Administration, Midtown businesses, and the community as a whole for supporting Midtown businesses during construction. The RTC also thanks our construction contractor Sierra Nevada Construction, construction manager Atkins, and design and environmental consultants NCE and CA Group, for creating local jobs for Northern Nevadans and bringing this project to completion.
About the Virginia Street Project:
The Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project will improve safety and provide better access, enhanced transit service and improved mobility for everyone. This includes extending the RAPID Virginia Line from Midtown to the University of Nevada, Reno. The project represents an approximately $90-million investment in our community.
The project is funded with fuel tax revenue, sales tax revenue, and federal funds.
For more information about the project, construction operations, business-support opportunities and more, please visit VirginiaStreetProject.com, text Virginia to 797979, or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #VirginiaStreetProject.