RENO, NV - The Virginia Street Bridge marks the spot where Reno literally began as a crossing over the Truckee River to the mines of the Comstock.
The present bridge is the third to make that crossing. Built in 1905, it is listed on the National Historic Registry.
Showing its age after nearly a century of use, there was much discussion of the need for repairs, but following the 1997 flood, that discussion turned to replacement instead.
The problem with the current bridge is its low arches and center pier act as a dam during floods sending the Truckee into downtown Reno.
Having decided to replace the bridge, the city council must now decide what to build in its place.
Tuesday they will consider five bridge types. Some require a raised roadway a block or so on either side, creating a problem for street level businesses. Other, more expensive alternatives, would lift the bridge out of the way.
One issue will still stir debate. The old bridge carries a lot of Reno's history, but it's also a landmark structure and whatever replaces it, some believe should be distinctive enough to serve as a signature structure for the city for the century ahead.
Whatever the choice, nothing will lhappen until the city finds a way of funding the new bridge.