Virginia Street Project Road Construction Complete RAPID Virginia Line Extension In Early 2021
ABOUT The Virginia Street Project The Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project improves traffic and pedestrian safety and provides better access, enhanced transit service and improved mobility for everyone. This includes extending the RAPID Virginia Line on the Virginia Street Corridor from
Meadowood Mall to the Midtown District and 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.
“This project is a proud accomplishment for the RTC. Improving connectivity in the South Virginia Street corridor between the University of Nevada, Reno, Downtown Reno and Midtown areas to Meadowood Mall has been a top priority for your RTC Board. Not only does this project achieve important safety, mobility and accessibility goals, it also provides a new convenient transit option for our residents and visitors in our community. Projects like this benefit our growing region, making it safer and more accessible than ever before.” Bob Lucey, RTC Board Chair and Washoe County Commission Chair
“Congratulations to the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County for reaching this important milestone on the Virginia Street Project. Midtown is a special district to me, and I’m thrilled that this area of downtown Reno is safer and more accessible than ever before, along with the improvements near the University of Nevada, Reno. Our iconic Virginia Street is better than ever, and I cannot wait to see how this part of Reno continues to grow and evolve with the addition of the RAPID Virginia Line extension next year.” Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve
UNIVERSITY section of the project The Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project represents a $90 million investment in our community to improve safety and mobility along this heavily traveled corridor. The project will extend the RTCâ€™s existing RAPID Virginia Line service from Meadowood Mall all the way to the University of Nevada, Reno. When the extended transit route launches in early 2021, the RTC anticipates an increase in ridership on this route. The University and the region will benefit from the extended RAPID service and new transit stations because of their convenient locations and quick access to destinations along Virginia Street from the campus to downtown
Reno, the Midtown District, and to Meadowood Mall. The bus route that will extend to the University is the RAPID Virginia Line transit route, which is an enhanced transit service and RTCâ€™s busiest transit route. 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 RTCâ€™s premier transit services with the highest-ridership in RTCâ€™s transit system. Transit ridership is expected to increase with the extension of the RAPID Virginia Line to the University 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 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, bicycle lanes, and a center median in some areas. The new transit service and bike lanes will help improve access and walkability around the University area, reduce emissions - improving our air quality, and provide a sustainable solution that contributes to a better quality of life for those who live nearby transit stops and choose to ride transit.
HIGHLIGHTS of the UNR section of the project NEW RAPID STATIONS RAPID Bus Stations on both sides of Virginia Street (five total).
“Whether you’re on foot, on a bus, or driving through, Virginia Street is now safer and more accessible for everyone. I invite everyone to visit Virginia Street to see the exciting and vibrant transformation the RTC has made in Midtown and near the University. With community input and involvement throughout design and construction, Virginia Street now has wider sidewalks, tree-lined streets and soon, improved transit. This project is a big win for Reno and the region.” Oscar Delgado, RTC Commissioner and City of Reno Councilman
SIDEWALK IMPROVEMENTS Sidewalk improvements (along Virginia Street between Maple Street and the University’s West Stadium Parking Complex entrance).
UNR ROUNDABOUT A roundabout on Virginia Street at the entrance to the University’s West Stadium Parking Complex to improve safety and traffic flow.
“The safety of our students, faculty and staff is one of my utmost top priorities. That’s why I’m excited about the completion of the Virginia Street Project near the University. With a new roundabout, safer sidewalks and better transit access for everyone, the Virginia Street Project complements the improvements underway and coming to the University District. When the new transit service launches in 2021, the University will be better connected to Downtown Reno, the Midtown District and the South Virginia Street corridor. Keeping the University connected to our region enhances the vibrant and world-class Tier 1 educational experience right here in northern Nevada.” President Brian Sandoval, University of Nevada, Reno
RESTRIPING THE ROADWAY
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.
NEW LIGHTING Construction in the University area began on March 6, 2020 and was completed on December 28, 2020. Our thanks to the University of Nevada, Reno, residents and businesses for their partnership and support during construction.
â€œThe Virginia Street Project will bring prosperity not only to the Virginia Street Corridor but to the region as a whole. RTC projects focus on increasing safety, improving mobility, and expanding transit options, which represents the core of what we do as your RTC Board. Our growing community benefits with safer roadways, expanded transit and encourages even more people to choose transit.â€? Vaughn Hartung, RTC Commissioner and Washoe County Commissioner
MIDTOWN section of the project Following almost two years of construction, Midtown is now safer and easier to access than ever before. Opening Midtown back to two-way traffic was achieved three months early due to modified business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic that allowed Sierra Nevada Construction (SNC)
crews to close parts of Virginia Street to finish paving operations earlier than planned. With many thanks and appreciation to the Midtown business owners for supporting the accelerated construction, the roadway reopened to two-way traffic on Friday, August 14, 2020.
MIDTOWN SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS
Keeping our community safe is RTC’s top priority. That’s why you’ll see several safety improvements on Virginia Street when you visit Midtown.
Center medians help keep traffic moving in Midtown. Preventing cars from making left turns reduces crashes and helps keep pedestrians crossing the road safer. Now, drivers aren’t stuck waiting behind other drivers making left turns, or waiting for cars merging into the travel lanes.
“I have seen firsthand the need for safety improvements in our city’s core. When sidewalks in some areas of Midtown were just 18 inches wide, I knew we had to make some major improvements to continue to make Reno safe and welcoming for families and visitors. Our iconic Virginia Street is now pedestrian friendly and I cannot wait to see how this area of Reno becomes an even more must-visit destination.” Neoma Jardon, RTC Board Vice Chair and City of Reno Council Member
WIDER SIDEWALKS Designing roadways with pedestrians in mind means weâ€™re working to keep your family and friends safe. Experience the new, wide sidewalks in Midtown! Now, you can bring the whole family, walk with more room, and feel safer!
NEW PEDESTRIAN FLASHERS Visiting Midtown is safer and easier than ever before. Be sure to follow the speed limit and watch for pedestrians crossing the road. New flashers at this crosswalk help with visibility.
NEW LANDSCAPING New trees provide more than shade as they grow. The trees will improve your view and separate cars and pedestrians to help keep you safe!
NEW SIDEWALK BULB-OUTS New sidewalk bulb-outs near intersections in Midtown make it easier for drivers to see people who want to cross, which helps reduce crashes.
MIDTOWN ROUNDABOUT Wondering why you can’t make as many left turns in Midtown these days? That’s an engineering feature to reduce crashes and help protect pedestrians. If you need to turn around to access Midtown businesses, the new roundabout at Virginia Street/ Center Street/Mary Street can help!
“We are incredibly excited that the construction is completed. It’s been a multi-year process and we are deeply grateful to the RTC and other community partners for all their hard work over the years. I remember several years ago, going to one of the first meetings with the RTC and other business and property owners, and we were imagining what the transformation would look like. Today, we get to see and enjoy the new Midtown with wide sidewalks that are level, beautiful trees and new lighting fixtures that really make Midtown a well-lit and safe place for everyone to visit. We thank our community for supporting us during construction and invite you to visit and fall back in love with Midtown!” Craig Parish, Midtown District Association President & Living Stones Church Pastor
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WELCOME BACK to Midtown!
The RTC began the Virginia Street Project in Midtown on September 4, 2018, when construction crews began phase one of the project to replace aging underground utilities, including replacing aging sewer pipes, water lines, and electricity conduit. As part of this phase, new high-speed fiber-optic cable was also installed. Virginia Street is one of the oldest roadways in our community and the underground utility upgrades were a significant part of the project. The first phase was an important element completed ahead of aboveground construction to minimize the impacts of utility relocations and not delay construction above ground. Phase one was
completed on March 14, 2019. Phase two of the project began on June 17, 2019, and continued through fall of 2020. The community is invited to visit and explore the new improvements and support Midtown businesses, stroll along the new, wide sidewalks along this iconic Reno roadway, see the new trees and landscaping, and enjoy all that Midtown has to offer. There are also new crosswalks in Midtown to help create a more pedestrianfriendly environment, a new traffic configuration to improve safety and traffic flow, and new streetlights to help increase nighttime visibility and corridor ambiance. The wide sidewalks now meet ADA standards and allows everyone visiting Midtown to experience the vibrant and eclectic Midtown District, safely and easily. This project represents a significant investment into Midtown as it becomes an even more must-visit destination in our region.
Watch the video on our YouTube page.
NEW ROUNDABOUTS • The Virginia Street
Project included 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 injuryproducing accidents by 76%. Roundabouts also improve traffic flow when replacing stop signs or traffic signals at intersections by as much as 75%.
• Watch: 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.
RAPID VIRGINIA LINE EXTENSION The final project feature, the extension of Bus RAPID Transit service, will launch in 2021. The transit extension will connect RTC’s RAPID Virginia Line from Meadowood Mall to the University. The convenient, quick transit service will improve RTC’s transit access through Reno’s busiest travel corridor and make transit a more-competitive transportation
choice. The new route will also make it easier for University students, faculty, and staff to use transit, which is anticipated to help ease parking and traffic congestion around the University. The new RAPID transit stations offer seating, level boarding, and real-time schedule information.
In Midtown, RAPID stations have etched glass paneling that is connected to color-changing, LED lighting. For special events or holidays, the LED lighting can be programmed to reflect the desired colors.
Near the University of Nevada, Reno, stations have been designed to seamlessly blend into the campusâ€™ existing aesthetics.
FINAL TOUCHES 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. The RTC does not anticipate any significant traffic-control impacts. The RTC will be working with the Federal Transit Administration to ensure the extension of the RAPID Virginia Line to the University of Nevada, Reno, achieves the planned level of performance and the new transit stations are safe, secure, and accessible for our passengers.
THE RTC BOARD Thank you to the RTC Board for their vision and leadership in bringing this project to fruition.
BOB LUCEY RTC Chair Washoe County Chairman Serving since January 2015
NEOMA JARDON RTC Vice Chair Reno Council Member Serving since December 2013
VAUGHN HARTUNG Washoe County Commissioner Serving since January 2018 Previous service January 2015 - December 2015
RON SMITH City of Sparks Mayor Served from January 2009 â€“ August 2020
OSCAR DELGADO Reno Council Member Serving since December 2018
KRISTINA SWALLOW, Ex-officio Director Nevada Department of Transportation Serving since January 2019
THANK YOU! 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 Cadd spaceA 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., Noahâ€™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 & YESCO.
“I am proud of the RTC project team who worked diligently to ensure this project was a success. From community outreach to our engineering and construction team, this project is a testament to what the RTC can achieve in our neighborhoods to make the Truckee Meadows an even better, and safer, place to live. Thank you to the community for their patience and support during the construction process. I am excited for us to launch the extension of the RAPID Virginia Line early next year. That final piece of the project will encourage even more people in our community to choose transit, bringing greater prosperity to the Virginia Street Corridor. The significance and positive impacts of this project would not have been possible without the funding and oversight support of our Federal partners. Particularly, Senator Cortez Masto, Senator Rosen, Congressman Amodei, and the Federal Transit Administration including K. Jane Williams, FTA Acting Administrator and FTA’s Region 9 staff, Ray Tellis, Regional Administrator, Bernardo Bustamante, Director and Roxana Hernandez, Transportation Program Specialist.” Bill Thomas, AICP, RTC Executive Director
â€œMy congratulations to the RTC for the great job transforming Virginia Street in Midtown and near the University of Nevada, Reno, my alma mater. My office is located in Midtown and saw the transformation taking place during construction. Midtown is now more inviting and safer for our families and friends to visit and enjoy. And with the new RAPID extension service coming soon, more people can travel on Virginia Street using transit and reducing our carbon footprint. I am proud to represent District 24 and very much appreciate the improvements that have been made within my district that will support businesses, residents, the university community and our region as a whole.â€? Assemblywoman Sarah Peters, District 24, Nevada Legislature
Your RTC. Our Community. rtcwashoe.com
For more information about the project, construction operations, businesssupport opportunities and more, please visit VirginiaStreetProject.com, or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #VirginiaStreetProject.