March 14, 2019

The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County is more than 95% done with the first phase of the Virginia Street Project and has reopened the entire corridor to two-way traffic. Drivers can still expect to see possible lane closures and traffic shifts as utility companies connect utilities throughout the corridor through the month of April.

Storm Drain Work Planned for April

In early April, the section of Virginia Street from Center Street/Mary Street to Vassar Street will close to one-way traffic to finish a storm drain system that could not be completed until utility companies are finished with their installations. Southbound traffic only is anticipated for about two weeks in early April. Sierra Nevada Construction will allocate multiple crews to expedite this work.

Temporary Parking Removed

Temporary parking lots at Ponderosa Hotel and Shopper’s Square have been removed as of March 1, 2019. Please do not park in these lots, unless you are patronizing these businesses, or you will be towed by the business owners.  Temporary parking along Virginia Street will be removed as two-way traffic is restored to Virginia Street.

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 in summer of 2019, a majority of the work will take place at road level. In the interim, utility companies will continue utility-connection work throughout the corridor, but the work will only require minor lane closures or traffic shifts.

While the traffic control plans are still under review, one-way traffic will be required within the work zone, in segments, when construction begins again this summer.

At this time, the preliminary work plan includes beginning construction at Plumb Lane and working north. Crews will also work on side streets throughout the corridor. Construction operations will occur on one side of Virginia Street (east or west) and then switch.

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 major safety improvements. The RTC’s project team will have multiple crews working at the same time to expedite construction operations. This part of the construction is expected to wrap up in winter of 2020.

About the Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension project:

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 240 trees will be added to the corridor as part of the project.

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

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