Last week on Thursday, Washoe County’s Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) hosted a community open house at Dilworth STEM Academy to share information about the upcoming Prater Way Roadway Rehabilitation construction project. In front of a handful of people and city officials, RTC Project Manager Judy Tortelli outlined the project from its inception to planned construction.
Set to take place on the stretch of roadway on Prater Way between Howard Drive and Sparks Boulevard (north of Lincoln Way and the Sparks Marina), Prater Way is expected to get nice new pavement offering better access and safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Judy Tortelli showed a closeup shot of major cracks in the road and stated, “it is getting a bit bumpy”.
In 2017, the City of Sparks completed a Prater Way Clear Zone Evaluation that brought attention to the dangers on the stretch of Prater between Howard and Pullman drives. While immediate action was taken to remedy the problem, the RTC used this Clear Zone Evaluation to make some improvements during the current Prater Way rehab project. The Prater Way project is also part of the RTC Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and will be taking room out of the travel lanes and lessening the median near Parlanti Boulevard to put in bike lanes.
The last major reconstruction of this portion of the road was in 1990 and is therefore due for some improvements. The main scope of the project includes removing/replacing the roadway with new material, sidewalk/curb/gutter replacement as necessary, reconstructing curb ramps, driveways, and replacing sanitary sewer infrastructure.
“We’re working with the City of Sparks to do some sewer replacement which will lessen the impact on commuters by not having to do a separate project for this,” Tortelli says.
The project will also implement a Sparks Police Department fiber relocation, storm drain catch basin upgrades, an ADA-compliant path for pedestrians, and new traffic signals. It is also a goal to fix existing driveways on Prater Way that are too steep and where the cross-slope exceeds two percent.
In the Prater Way project roadway design analysis, the RTC made it clear that the project would not be a capacity expanding road (there is no intention to add more lanes for vehicle traffic) and based on the forecasted growth data, the new roadway would maintain a 20-year lifespan.
Tortelli also reminded residents that the RTC Flex Ride pilot program is underway and that there has been an increase in the ridership in that area. “If Route 25 remains in service then the bus stops (within the Prater Way rehab zone) may be improved,” she says.
Here is the current timeline of the project:
- September-December 2019: Field work and analysis of Prater Way
- January-March 2020: Preliminary design and coordinating with local agencies. As of January 13, a topographic field survey, geotechnical investigation, and base mapping have been completed.
- April: Informational meeting with contractor
- April-October 2020: Construction takes place on Prater Way. During construction, traffic impacts will consist of one lane traffic in each direction, pedestrian access on only one side of the roadway, and businesses with secondary access.
The $5 million Prater Way project is funded through the RTC Fuel Tax. For more information on the Prater Way Rehabilitation Project, visit https://www. rtcwashoe.com/engineering-project/prater-way-rehabilitation/.