May 16, 2019

Federal Transit Administration Officials Announce Next Milestone in Federal Grant Process

The United States Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration has issued a Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) to the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County, authorizing the RTC to incur costs for early construction activities for the Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project.

The RTC received a $40.4-million allocation from the FTA in April 2019. The LONP is the next step in the RTC’s federal funding path toward a Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program agreement anticipated to be received in late July. The LONP permits the RTC to incur reimbursable costs for the Virginia Street project prior to receiving the CIG funding.

“Virginia Street residents, business owners and visitors are one step closer to a completely transformed corridor with new wide sidewalks, new transit stations, up to 240 street trees, upgraded underground infrastructure, new lighting and pavement,” said RTC Executive Director Lee Gibson. “This project is critical in improving transit operations and creating a culture of safety and vibrancy in this growing area of our community.”

What’s next?

The first part of construction included utility relocations and upgrades which took place mostly underground. When the next part of construction begins on June 17, 2019, the transformation of Virginia Street will begin, with a majority of the work taking place at road level. During this next part of construction, the community will start to see the corridor transform, including new, wide sidewalks, landscaping, new street lighting, new and updated transit stations, and significant safety improvements. In the interim, utility companies will continue their utility-connection work throughout the corridor, but the work will only require minor lane closures or traffic shifts.

At this time, the preliminary work plan includes beginning construction on Virginia Street at Mt. Rose Street and working south to Plumb Lane. Crews will also work on side streets throughout the corridor. Construction operations will occur on one side of Virginia Street, in segments (east or west) and then switch. Final traffic-control plans are still being developed and will be announced prior to the start of construction.

The RTC’s project team will have multiple crews working at the same time to expedite construction operations. Completion of the entire project is expected to wrap up in winter of 2020, weather permitting.

The Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project will improve safety in the corridor and provide better access, enhanced transit service, and mobility for everyone. This includes extending the RAPID Virginia Line from Midtown to UNR and new bus RAPID transit stations in Midtown and at UNR. The project represents a more-than-$80 million investment in the region.

Tentative Project Schedule:

  • Summer through fall 2019 – Work on select side streets in Midtown and work on Virginia Street from Mt. Rose Street to Plumb Lane.
  • Winter 2019 through spring 2020 – Work on Virginia Street sidewalks and paving from Mt. Rose Street northward.
  • Spring through winter 2020 – Work on Virginia Street sidewalks and paving continuing northward to Liberty Street and the installation of a roundabout at Center Street.
  • Spring 2020 through fall 2020 – University of Nevada, Reno roadway reconstruction and transit stations begin.

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

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