Utility Relocation

Dear Stakeholder:

The utility relocation part of construction will begin on September 4, 2018. Operations will include upgrading and relocating utilities underground on Virginia Street from Plumb Lane north to Liberty Street, including many of the adjacent side streets. Sierra Nevada Construction (SNC) will start placing traffic control, including cones and some equipment, the week of August 20.

We have developed creative ideas, resources and community events planned to invite the public to Midtown and support businesses during construction.  We want to hear your ideas too!  Our first event is Transforming Virginia Street construction block party kickoff.  Sign up for project updates for an opportunity to receive two Burning Man tickets plus playa accessories!

Below please find answers to some project questions.  As a reminder, the project team welcomes the opportunity to meet with any property owner, business or resident along Virginia Street to answer questions and provide project information.

  1. When will construction begin?

The utility relocation part of the project will begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.  The majority of work for this portion of the project will be complete by February/March 2019. Placement of construction equipment will begin on August 20.  We appreciate the community’s understanding and flexibility with construction unknowns. Construction schedules are subject to change and will be noticed accordingly.

  1. What are the utility improvements?

The utility relocation will upgrade much needed, aging utility infrastructure and relocate utilities including: AT&T, Charter, NV Energy, Verizon, TMWA and storm drain.  While these improvements are mostly underground, they are a major investment in our community’s infrastructure for many years to come.

After utilities are in place, the team will construct roadway and transit improvements on Virginia Street between Plumb Lane and Liberty Street and various side streets, anticipated to begin late spring/summer 2018.  These improvements include landscaping and finishes, community seating, lighting, upgraded ADA compliant pedestrian facilities, new and upgraded bus rapid transit stations, and improved traffic operations with a roundabout at Virginia Street at Center/ Mary Streets. Upon completion of the roadway and transit improvements, RTC will expand RAPID bus service to UNR and include a roundabout just north of Lawlor Events Center. Additional information for the improvements near UNR will be available in the future.

  1. What are the traffic and business impacts?

The project team developed an accelerated construction schedule for the utility relocation, doing 12 months of work in six months, with additional manpower -up to six construction crews will be working at the same time. This results in an intense traffic control effort.  There will be one lane of one-way southbound traffic from Liberty Street to Plumb Lane. There will be no northbound travel from Plumb Lane onto Virginia Street from Wells Avenue, north to Liberty Street. Detours will be in place and business access signage will be installed.

Driveway closures of one hour or more are possible during construction activities. Businesses will be notified at minimum a 24-hour notice of driveway closures. We will maintain one entry/exit unless you receive other notification.  We will provide business signage, pedestrian walk routes and communicate where parking for businesses and their customers will be located. We have a dedicated project team that will work with businesses to provide accurate information in advance of construction operations at their locations.

  1. What happens after utility relocation is complete?

Once utilities are upgraded, the various utility companies will relocate overhead utilities underground and will remove most of the poles that are currently located within the sidewalk limits.  This will take place late 2018 through early 2019. The team will then begin improvements on the roadway and transit portion of the project. This is when the actual transformation begins and will start to take shape! Depending on operations and weather, this construction is anticipated to begin in spring/summer of 2019.

  1. What about parking?

The team is working on developing parking partnerships with businesses in Midtown. We will provide more information prior to the start of construction on September 4.

  1. Will construction be ongoing during special events?

Special events are vital to our community. We are working with special event organizers to let them know Midtown is open for business and accessible. Construction operations may not be active during special events, but traffic control will be in place for safety purposes.  The project team will ensure the construction area is safe, clean and businesses are accessible during special events. We are also planning special events to support businesses!

  1. Can I ride my bike?

Yes.  The project corridor will be an active construction zone, but bicyclists are permitted and should obey traffic controls and bike safely.

  1. I am a resident in Midtown. What are the impacts to me?

Our residential neighbors may see increased traffic on side streets and potential driveway closures.  Construction operations will be ongoing throughout the day.  (Monday to Friday 6 am to 4 pm). The project team will keep residents informed of noise and access activities in advance. Night work may be necessary to decrease impacts to businesses and expedite construction work. Night work will occur Sunday through Thursday between 7 pm and 5 am, if needed.

  1. Who can I contact for more information?
  • Jeff Wilbrecht, RTC Project Manager (775) 355-1872
  • Dan LeBlanc, SNC Project Manager (775) 857-9107
  • Mitch Grayson, SNC Project Superintendent (775) 691-1470
  • Emma Crossman, SNC Project Manager (775) 432-8219
  • Michael Moreno, RTC Public Affairs Manager (775) 335-1869

Thank you in advance for your patience and partnership as we work together to Transform Virginia Street!