June 13, 2019

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 phase two of the Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project in the Midtown Reno area on Monday, June 17, 2019.

This more-than-$87-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. New trees and street lighting will be added to the corridor as part of the project.

The project is funded with local fuel tax revenue, sales tax and federal grant funds.

Phase II Construction Information:

The first phase of construction included utility relocations and upgrades, which took place mostly underground. When phase two begins, a majority of the work will take place at road level. During this next phase 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.

The work plan includes beginning construction on Virginia Street at Mt. Rose Street and working south to Plumb Lane. Crews will also work on nine side streets throughout the corridor. Construction operations will occur on one side of Virginia Street, in segments (east or west) and then switch.

Construction on Tahoe St., St. Lawrence Ave., Moran St., E. Taylor St., Martin St. and Caliente St. will take place between June and September 2019. Construction on Stewart St., Cheney St., and Arroyo St. will take place between August and October 2019. No two consecutive side streets will be closed at the same time.

Construction at the northern section of the project by the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) will begin in spring 2020.

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.

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.

How to get to Midtown during construction:

During the first segment of construction, Virginia Street will be open to southbound traffic only from Mt. Rose Street/Holcomb Avenue to Plumb Lane. Northbound traffic will be detoured at Wells Avenue to Vassar Street. When Wells Ave. closes for construction, the segment will temporarily reopen to two-way traffic.

Side streets that are under construction will be closed to through traffic. Local business access will be maintained.

It’s business as usual. All businesses will be open and accessible during construction.

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

Get 50% off your Lyft rideshare to Midtown, up to $10 off, using code RAPID in the promo section of the app. The code is valid for trips into the Midtown area within the construction zone. The code is valid for trips originating from anywhere in our community that is outside of the Midtown District.

Valid drop-off locations include anywhere on South Virginia Street between Liberty Street and Plumb Lane, and some additional areas along that corridor. See map of valid drop-off locations.

Public Information Office:

A new project information office is open on Virginia Street just north of The Z Bar. The office hours are:

  • June 13-June 27: Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Starting July 1: Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment. (Office closed on government-observed holidays.)

The project information office will be open to provide the community and local business owners another way to learn about the project throughout construction. The office will give people the opportunity to speak with a project representative in person, view maps and renderings, request information and learn about construction schedules, activities and traffic control.

The opening of the project information office is yet another means to keep stakeholders engaged and informed about the Virginia Street Project and to provide them access to the project team. Recently, the RTC has been hosting bi-weekly informational meetings in Midtown at The Saint since mid-March and the project information office is an extension of that ongoing engagement and an opportunity to ask questions and receive project information.

Business Support:

The RTC encourages the community to support local businesses during construction. Visit Midtown businesses during construction and post about it on Facebook or Instagram using #VirginiaStreetProject to be eligible to receive a gift card to a Midtown business from the project team.The RTC will also be launching an advertising campaign to remind the community that even though construction is going on, it’s business as usual in Midtown.

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 info@VirginiaStreetProject.com 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 VirginiaStreetProject.com, text Virginia to 797979, or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.