KEY PERMIT ISSUED FOR SOUTHEAST CONNECTOR PROJECT
Reno, NV (April 16, 2015) – The United States Army Corps of Engineers has approved and issued a key permit needed under section 404 of the Clean Water Act for completion of the SouthEast Connector project. The approval means the next phase of construction may move forward.
As anticipated, the permit requires some conditions, which RTC will comply with. The Corps did not require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), realign the path of the roadway or make any alterations to the project, which is a validation of the solid design, engineering and environmental work that has been done by RTC.
“The SouthEast Connector is much more than a needed roadway; it provides numerous benefits to the environment. I’m pleased the Corps has recognized those benefits in approving RTC’s application,” RTC Executive Director Lee Gibson said.
The Corps noted RTC’s innovative plan to help stop the spread of historic mercury within the SouthEast Connector Corridor. The plan calls for soil with higher concentrations of mercury to be permanently stored under the roadway and removed from exposure to ground water and the human environment. Currently, mercury is being spread by any flood events. Advanced modeling shows this plan will remove 22,000 pounds of mercury from further exposure to the
environment. The permit review found that RTC’s mercury mitigation plan is “protective of human health and the environment.”
Additionally, RTC is planning habitat restoration and other efforts to improve water quality and reduce erosion. The project will help the area return to a more natural floodplain. The project has been shown to reduce flood water elevations near homes and other buildings.
The SouthEast Connector will also help improve air quality. Modeling shows the roadway is needed to accommodate future growth and growth that has already occurred in the region. The project will reduce traffic congestion and the amount of idling vehicles, preventing pollution. A paved, multi-use path will also parallel the entire roadway, enabling people to make green trips, such as walking and biking while enjoying the natural environment and scenic views.
The first phase of the SouthEast Connector was substantially completed in July – ahead of schedule and under budget. The next phase will begin in the coming weeks and be marked by a community groundbreaking event. Full completion of the project is expected in late 2017. The remainder of the road to be constructed is about four and a half miles of the overall five and a half mile roadway. When completed, the SouthEast Connector will be dubbed Veterans Parkway, and will link Sparks to south Reno.
SouthEast Connector At-A-Glance
SouthEast Connector Digital Flyover Video
Complete Permit Application and Permit Conditions will be posted as soon as possible.
COMMUNITY INVITED TO PROVIDE COMMENTS AND IDEAS ON VIRGINIA STREET’S FUTURE
The RTC is inviting the community to provide comments and ideas on the future of Virginia Street as part of the Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project. Two meetings will be held for the public to review preliminary designs for Virginia Street. The designs feature proposed improvements for Virginia Street from Maple Street to 15th Street near the University of Nevada, Reno and from Liberty Street to Plumb Lane in Midtown.
The proposed enhancements include: wider sidewalks, new bike lanes and extending RAPID bus service north to UNR with new transit stations and intersection improvements. The project is also intended to better connect the University to Downtown Reno and Downtown to points south including Midtown. The extension of RTC RAPID would eliminate the need for a transfer at RTC 4TH STREET STATION to UNR, saving travelers’ valuable time. The project will also support economic growth and redevelopment along Virginia Street and throughout the region. Additionally, it will help create a safer community that is accessible to everyone under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
While the same information will be presented at both meetings, the public is welcome to attend one or both events. Free parking is available at both meetings.
For more information on this project, go to http://rtcwashoe.com and click on Streets and Highways, then Road Projects.
Community Information Meeting One (served by RTC RAPID)
Tuesday, April 14
5 to 7 p.m. with a brief presentation at 5:30 p.m.
The Discovery Museum
490 South Center Street
Reno, NV 89501
Community Information Meeting Two (served by RTC SIERRA SPIRIT and RTC RIDE route 7)
Wednesday, April 15
5 to 7 p.m. with a brief presentation at 5:30 p.m.
University of Nevada, Reno, Raggio Building, room 4001
1664 North Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89503
For eligible RTC ACCESS reservations, call (775) 348-5438. Pursuant to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, special accommodations may be requested by calling (775) 348-0480 at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.
Click below for proposed enhancement concepts:
UNR Project Area
UNR North Roundabout
UNR Alternative 1
UNR Alternative 2
UNR Alternative 3
Midtown Project Area
Midtown Cross Sections
RTC BEGINS BIKE SHARE STUDY, LAUNCHES NEW STUDY WEBSITE
In many communities people are able to check out a bike, get to where they need to go, and then leave it securely for someone else to check out. The RTC will be conducting public outreach to measure whether such a program would be viable in Washoe County. The study will identify costs, goals and performance measures. Encouraging transportation other than in vehicles promotes health and creates cleaner air. The study is part of the RTC’s on-going commitment to encourage green trips and maintain the region’s status as a bicycle friendly community. The study is scheduled for completion in May 2015.
Visit the website at: http://www.rtc-bikeshare.com
NEVADA STRATEGIC HIGHWAY SAFETY PLAN PROMOTES RTC COMPLETE STREET DESIGNS FOR PEDESTRIAN SAFETY
Click here to check out the Nevada Strategic Highway Safety Plan March Newsletter to see RTC's Complete Street Designs highlighted for their positive effect on pedestrian safety.
OFFICIAL NOTICE OF CHANGE TO REGIONAL ROAD IMPACT FEES EFFECTIVE MARCH 2, 2015
The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County announces a change in the Regional Road Impact Fee (RRIF). The change will go into effect on permit applications submitted at the City of Reno, City of Sparks and Washoe County effective March 2, 2015.
For more information on the RRIF program, go to www.rtcwashoe.com/streets-highways-32-166.html
ADVISORY COMMITTEES AT RTC
The RTC is currently recruiting for members and alternate members to serve on the Citizens Advisory Committee. Applicants should have an interest in policy issues relative to public transportation, the regional street and highway system, and multimodal transportation planning in the region. They must be willing to attend monthly meetings held the
first Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. Opportunities include regular members (3-year terms) and alternate members.
Alternate members serve until they are appointed as a regular member. Applications are available at the RTC Planning
Department, 1105 Terminal Way, Suite 211, Reno or on the RTC website – www.rtcwashoe.com.