Construction on the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County’s Virginia Street Project, both near the University and in Midtown, is now substantially complete. The final piece of the Virginia Street Project will be the extension of the RAPID Virginia Line service to the University in early 2021.
“Your RTC Board is proud to deliver this significant project to our community,” said RTC Board Chair Bob Lucey. “With the addition of transit in early 2021, transit riders including students, faculty and staff will be more connected to our region than ever before.”
The University and the community will benefit from the extended RAPID service and new stations because of their convenient locations and quick access to destinations along Virginia Street from campus to downtown Reno, Midtown Reno, and Meadowood Mall.
Even though construction is substantially complete, construction crews will still be putting the finishing touches on the roundabout monument and some transit stations near the University through early January.
Highlights of the project near the University of Nevada, Reno, include:
• RAPID Bus Stations on both sides of Virginia Street (five total)
• Sidewalk improvements (along Virginia Street between Maple Street and the University’s West Stadium Parking Complex entrance)
• A roundabout on Virginia Street at the entrance to the University’s West Stadium Parking Complex to improve safety and traffic flow
• Restriping of the roadway from two lanes of traffic in each direction to one traffic lane and one shared bus/bicycle lane for both northbound and southbound traffic flow
The bus route that will extend to the University is the RAPID Virginia Line transit route, which is an enhanced transit service. The route has features that allow buses to travel more quickly on Virginia Street and with fewer stops than on regular bus routes, including transit stops approximately every half mile, raised level-boarding platforms to allow passengers to get on and off quickly, dedicated bus lanes in some locations, and technology that allows the bus to communicate with traffic signals to help keep the route on schedule.
The RAPID routes (Virginia Line and Lincoln Line) are the highest-ridership routes in RTC’s transit system. Extending the RAPID Virginia Line to the University will increase ridership while providing students, faculty and staff with an enhanced travel option through the Virginia Street corridor in Reno. In addition to the RAPID stations, other improvements include the addition of wider sidewalks that meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, bicycle lanes, and a center median in some areas.
Parking is limited in and around the campus. Transit helps improve access and walkability, reduces pollution, and is a sustainable solution that contributes to a better quality of life for those who live nearby transit stops and choose to ride transit.
Construction near the University of Nevada, Reno began on March 6, 2020.
How to Navigate a Roundabout:
The Virginia Street Project includes two new roundabouts, one in Midtown at the intersection of Virginia Street/Center Street/Mary Street, and one at the University of Nevada, Reno, near the University’s West Stadium Parking Complex. Roundabouts provide for safer and more efficient travel for commuters and pedestrians. Studies indicate that roundabouts reduce vehicle collisions by 39% and the severity of injury-producing crashes by 76%. Roundabouts also improve traffic flow when replacing stop signs or traffic signals at intersections by as much as 75%. This safety video, created by the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) and the Nevada Office of Public Safety, provides good information to drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
About the Virginia Street Project:
The Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project improves safety and provides 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.
The RTC thanks our partners in the Virginia Street Project for bringing this project to fruition: The City of Reno, University of Nevada, Reno, and the Federal Transit Administration, the Midtown businesses, and the community.
The RTC also thanks our local contractor Sierra Nevada Construction, construction manager and environmental consultant Atkins, and design consultants NCE and C A Group, Inc., for creating local jobs for Northern Nevadans and bringing this project to completion. Thank you to PK Electrical, LA Studios, Shields Engineering, CME, MAPCA, and Taylor Made Solutions.
And thank you to A-1 Steel, Anark Corporation, Associated Concrete Pumping, Badger Daylighting Corp., Cinderlite Trucking Corp., Desert Commercial Sweeping, Eastern Sierra Engineering, Eastern Sierra Sweeping, Reno Iron Works, High Desert Surface Prep, Kustom Koatings, Moana Nursery, Morgan Construction, Nevada Barricade & Sign Co., Noah’s Park Tree Care, Northern Nevada Rebar, nvision Glass, Pavement Recycling Systems, Penhall Company, Reno Rock Transport, RFI Enterprises, Sierra Rental & Transport Co., Silver State Masonry, Titan Electrical, Underground Video Technology, Western Partitions, and YESCO.