The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) has been busy hosting workshops and inviting public feedback for the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan while still making improvements in the current plan as funding becomes available. Here are some upcoming Sparks’ projects in the works:
RTC Launches Eagle Canyon Extension Study
The RTC is currently in the beginning stages of facilitating its Eagle Canyon Extension study to find opportunities that could possibly connect Spanish Springs to the North Valleys area. The study will evaluate existing traffic flow and safety on Eagle Canyon Drive in an attempt to find ways to improve the existing roadway.
This issue arose from the RTC’s February 2017 North Valleys Multimodal Transportation Study. In it, North Valleys residents expressed better connecting the two areas due to the significant growth in employment and housing. A new roadway link between Spanish Springs and North Valleys could disperse the traffic crunch that is evident on US 395, Pyramid Highway, and the Spaghetti Bowl during peak hours.
There will be two public meetings this week to discuss the project and submit feedback; the next one will be held at Spanish Springs High School on Thursday, March 12 from 5-7 p.m. with a presentation at 5:30 p.m. Those who cannot attend the meeting in person may watch the livestream at Facebook.com/ rtcwashoe.
Sutro Street Construction to Start March 16.
The RTC is ramping up to launch the reconstruction of a section of Sutro Street between North McCarran Boulevard and Selmi Drive. Starting March 6, the RTC will be replacing the pavement, sidewalks, gutters, and curbs; the work should take about five weeks to complete. This Sutro Street reconstruction project is part of Reno Consolidated 19-01 plan which is supported by $4.3 million of fuel tax funds.
Commuters should expect to take detours during construction and here’s a timeframe of what to expect:
March 16-27: The Sutro Street section will only be open to southbound traffic, drivers travelling northbound will be rerouted to Clear Acre Lane over to Selmi Street. People getting gas at the Maverik gas station will still be able to access Sutro.
March 30-April 17: All of the Sutro Street section from Selmi Drive to North McCarran will be closed. All traffic will be rerouted to Clear Acre Lane and Selmi Street (Maverik will still be available).
Construction of this section of Sutro is expected to be finished by mid-April, weather permitting.
Can NDOT Fix the Spaghetti Bowl?
Washoe County has seen incredible growth over the last two decades which is putting more commuters on the road. The boom is expecting to continue, with county officials forecasting a population increase of 147,000 people until the year 2040. To prepare the continued growth, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) has made improvements to sections on I-80, I-580, and US 395, paying special attention to that high traffic area of the I-80/I-580 interchange, also known at the Spaghetti Bowl.
Short-term improvements to the Spaghetti Bowl include more digital message signage alerting approaching drivers of traffic conditions and longrange projects include widening the freeway and adding more interchange ramps. Recently, NDOT launched Phase One of the Spaghetti Bowl Xpress (SBX) project, which zeros in on addressing the most dangerous parts of the Bowl to come up with a plan to eliminate eastbound I-80 backups and southbound i-580/US 395 backups at the interchange.
A design building contract for SBX was awarded to Ames Q&D Constructors in December 2019 to come up with a plan that mitigates safety concerns and traffic. Geotechnical soil surveys and design will be happening this spring with most of the plan expected to be completed in 2023. NDOT emphasizes that Phase One of SBX will not impact or relocate any businesses or residential areas. For more information on SBX, visit https:// ndotspaghettibowl.com/.