September 2, 2014
The century-old Virginia Street Bridge in downtown Reno may soon be a thing of the past.
Like the Mapes Hotel, which once stood nearby, it is on the
National Register of Historic Places. But, like the Mapes, it may
have outlived its use. Officials say that when the Truckee River
edges toward flood stage, the bridge helps push it over.
The bridge's future was one key topic addressed Monday during a
Reno City Council retreat. Council members will again discuss the
bridge tomorrow with other local officials serving on a committee
pushing for flood control improvements along the Truckee.
Councilwoman Jessica Sferrazza, who heads the flood project
coordinating committee, said the city has an obligation to preserve
history, but also has a public safety obligation and that comes
The bridge, built in 1905, gained a mythical fame of sorts as
the place where Reno divorcees allegedly tossed their wedding rings
into the river after parting ways.
But the bridge, along with ones that span the river at Sierra
and Lake streets, act as bottlenecks during floods, causing logs
and other debris to pile up.