August 30, 2018

The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County and local construction firm Sierra Nevada Construction (SNC) will begin to transform Virginia Street with the start of the Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project in the Midtown Reno area on Tuesday, September 4.

This more than $80-million investment in our community will create connectivity between Midtown Reno and the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), and will support economic development, enhance safety, and improve livability in the corridor.

The project addresses critical transportation needs including improving transit operations by extending the Virginia Line RAPID transit service to UNR, correcting ADA sidewalk deficiencies, improving traffic operations and beautifying the corridor. Up to 300 trees will be added to the corridor as part of the project.

The project is funded with fuel tax revenue, federal and private funds.

Construction information:

On Tuesday, September 4, crews will set up traffic control and place construction equipment and materials along the corridor. Shortly after all traffic control and detours are in place, construction crews will begin work. The first part of the project will focus on upgrading aging utility infrastructure and moving overhead utilities underground.

The project team has developed an accelerated construction schedule to complete construction as soon as possible. Construction activities will occur during the day between 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. Some night work will be necessary to fast track construction operations. On September 16, crews will start night work on South Virginia Street between Plumb Lane and Mt. Rose Street from 7 p.m. – 5 a.m.

The project is creating up to 50 jobs in our community.

How to get to Midtown during construction:

There are more ways to get to Midtown than just on Virginia Street. As part of the project, South Virginia Street from Liberty Street to Plumb Lane will be open to southbound traffic only. Northbound traffic will detour on South Virginia starting at Wells Avenue to Vassar Street to Holcomb Avenue or Center Street. Northbound traffic can also detour to Mt. Rose Street to Plumas Street. Side streets along Virginia Street in Midtown provide access to all businesses.

Transit Detours:

Northbound transit stops along this corridor will be closed during construction.

RTC’s Virginia Line RAPID and Route 1 will continue on their usual southbound routes and stops during construction. The northbound Virginia Line RAPID and Route 1 between Plumb Lane and Liberty Street will detour to Wells Avenue to Vesta Street to Holcomb Avenue to Burns Street to Center Street.

Virginia Line RAPID passengers who use the northbound stop at Virginia Street and Mt. Rose Street can use a temporary stop at Holcomb Avenue and Vesta Street.

Route 1 passengers can use the following temporary detour stops north of Plumb Lane:

  • Wells Avenue at Casazza Drive (Route 19 stop)
  • Holcomb Avenue at Vesta Street (temporary stop shared with RAPID)
  • Holcomb Avenue at East Arroyo Street (temporary stop)
  • South Center Street at Burns Street (RAPID stop)
  • South Center Street at Moran Street (temporary stop)

Designated Midtown parking will be provided by SNC at Shopper’s Square and the marked parking lot at Forest Street and Tahoe Street behind the Ponderosa Hotel.

Additional transportation and parking options will be announced soon.

Business Support:

The RTC encourages the community to support local businesses during construction. There are fun events and business-patronage opportunities planned, so be sure to follow RTC on Facebook and Twitter to attend events and visit Midtown businesses.

We want to be successful together during construction. The RTC will also create incentives to attract people to Midtown during construction. Businesses can participate in the Business Support Program by calling (775) 300-1848 or emailing to be included. There is no cost for businesses to participate.

More information:
For more information on the project, construction operations, business-support opportunities and more, please visit, text Virginia to 797979, or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.