September 17, 2019

The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County received the American Public Works Association’s (APWA) 2019 Public Works Project of the Year Award for the SouthEast Connector project.

The project team received the award at APWA’s annual Public Works Expo on September 13, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. The RTC’s SouthEast Connector was recognized in the transportation project category for projects greater than $75 million.

“We are proud for the RTC’s successful transportation and environmental project to be recognized at a national level,” said RTC Executive Director Lee Gibson. “But most significantly, the SouthEast Connector represents the best of sustainability. The flood protection, clean-up of mercury-containing soils, removal of noxious weeds, and wildlife-management mitigation measures all combined to reflect how current highway planning, design, and construction can balance needs and meet all of our desires to provide an improved natural environment and improved connectivity.”

Awards are given for infrastructure projects publicly developed, owned, and maintained, that promote excellence in construction management and administration. These awards recognize the alliance between the managing agency, the contractor, the consultant, and their cooperative achievements.

About the SouthEast Connector:

The SouthEast Connector is a significant regional investment in the Truckee Meadows that addresses long-term transportation needs to improve the safety and mobility of people, goods and services in the Reno/Sparks area. The project provided a five-mile, north-south, six-lane, arterial route in the Truckee Meadows, between South Meadows Parkway in south Reno to Greg Street in Sparks, connecting large residential and commercial areas.

Built in a FEMA-designated critical flood zone, the project included constructing eight bridges, 13 box culverts for floodwater equalization along the alignment, extension of two arch culverts under Mira Loma Drive, two new and two reconstructed signalized intersections, 2,300 linear feet of mechanically stabilized earth-retaining walls and a 1,200 linear foot sound wall. The project also included constructing a multi-use pathway for bicyclists and pedestrians, connecting South Meadows Parkway to the Truckee River, establishing a vital link needed in the larger pathway system in the Washoe County area.

The SouthEast Connector created 150 acres of new wetlands, sequestered contaminated soils, disposed of four-million pounds of trash left on open land, and removed hundreds of acres of noxious weeds, while incorporating continuous and future good stewardship of the environment and minimizing construction impacts to the surrounding community.