McCarran-South Virginia: Motorists' Biggest Headache

RENO, NV - Every year as warm weather arrives, orange traffic cones sprout on our streets and highways like cheat grass.

This year is no different, but according to the folks at the Regional Transportation Commission, one area promises more headaches and challenges that most.

It centers on South Virginia and South McCarran.

The latest surprise, if you haven't been this way in the past few days, is a $16 million dollar project widening South McCarran from South Virginia to Mira Loma.

The city has finished work on sewer lines in the area. Lane restrictions are already in place. Even the sidewalk is closed at one point.

This roadway provides access to of the valley's biggest shopping centers and that's a concern. So far, businesses we've talked with are uncertain about any impact.

"I haven't heard any complaints<" says Art Daub who owns the Motor Sheep store in Smithfield Plaza. "People seem to be finding us."
"It's not having a big effect on our customers, adds Jeanne Giles at Jimmy Beans Wool knitting store a few doors down. The latest surprise, if you haven't been this way in the past few days, is a $16 million dollar project widening South McCarran from South Virginia to Mira Loma. The city has finished work on sewer lines in the area. Lane restrictions are already in place. Even the sidewalk is closed at one point. At midday traffic was backed up. This roadway provides access to of the valley's biggest shopping centers and that's a concern. So far, businesses we've talked with are uncertain about any impact.
Daub: I haven't heard any complaints. People seem to be finding us.
Giles: It's not having a big effect on customers. "hey know where we are and are determined to get to us,"

If that holds, it will be a relief for the Regional Transportation Commission which is sensitive these days about its projects hurting businesses, but one impact is already evident. It's made the commute to and from work for employees here that more difficult.

"t's my commute that's been effected," says Giles.

"I waited out there this morning for about 25 minutes." says Carol Simnad at the Parents Teachers Aids store.

It isn't just this project that makes this area a temporary headache for motorists. Construction on the $46 million dollar Meadowood Interchange will continue for another year.

Up the street on South Virginia, the RTC is building new stations and there's this new wrinkle for motorists, bus only lanes.

Not only will the Rapid and Connect buses get their own lanes at some intersections. They will get their own signal, a green light 5 or 6 seconds before you do. It will be operational in another week. .

It's all meant to speed them on their routes. It's unlikely to help you on yours.

The good news: $65 million dollars in construction is putting a lot of people to work and the busy area will eventually enjoy better access.

The bad news: add them all up and for the moment it's a big headache for motorists.


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