The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) hosted an open house at the Sparks Library May 8 to seek preliminary feedback on the rehabilitation projects happening on four sections of Sparks roadways and showcase the plan as it finalizes its design phase.
This rehabilitation project, named Sparks Consolidated 19-01, will improve the stretches between: 15th Street from C Street to Prater Way; Franklin Way from East Greg Street to the Union Pacific Railroad Crossing; Hulda Court; and the El Rancho area between G Street and Oddie Boulevard.
A handful of residents and Sparks City Councilman Donald Abbott attended the open house to learn more about the project, which will include removing and replacing asphalt, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks as well as rehabilitating water, sewage, and storm drains. The RTC and its chosen contractor will also rebuild pedestrian ramps, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, paving, striping, traffic controls/pedestrian signals, and replace driveways if necessary.
Construction on these sections of the roadway is set to begin July 15 to be completed sometime this October.
One issue concerning residents are people who speed within residential areas and one attendee asked what the RTC was doing to address that. RTC plans on installing rapid flashing beacons at pedestrian crossings that are some of the most effective on the market. Sparks City Councilman Donald Abbott also chimed in stating that the Sparks Police Department is in the process of hiring more officers to help with that.
The RTC mailed out 300 notifications to residents and businesses within the affected areas and will next initiate a call for bids to find the most affordable contractor.
“This is a rehabilitation/reconstruction project with the goal to fix roads that have deteriorated,” says RTC Project Manager Judy Tortelli. She also said that the RTC wanted to host this open house to find out if there are any issues that needed to be amended before it kicks off the bidding process and be able to put the concerned residents directly in touch with the contractor once they are hired.
“We’re not expanding the road, but we’re taking a ‘complete street’ approach when looking at sidewalks, bike lanes, and pedestrian crossings,” Tortelli says.
As far as what the priority will be, Tortelli says, “That stretch of El Rancho has to be done before school starts and then 15th Street because of the underground work associated with that (paving and gas utilities), but it all depends on how the contractor wants to attack it”. She predicts that the 15th Street 22-ft. section of road (and on Franklin Way) will be the most challenging because of the high amount of industrial traffic.
In general, the RTC starts looking at rehab projects in June or July and then awards design contracts in November to try to get going on construction the following summer. The Sparks Consolidated 19-01 Project will cost roughly $2.5 million to complete. The road construction project will be afforded to the lowest responsive and most responsible bidder to meet a July 15th start date.
“The RTC hasn’t done any rehabilitation projects since 2013 because the focus has been on some of the bigger ones, so now we’ll be doing these every year. This is kind of the kickoff for the rehab/restoration projects because it’s important to keep the pavement intact,” Tortelli says.
The RTC also wants to remind residents to support your local businesses as they will be open and available during construction. For more information on the project, visit https://www.rtcwashoe.com/engineering-project/sparks-consolidated-19-01/.