4th Street/Prater Way Project transforming parts of Sparks

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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) -- Construction on the 4th Street Prater Way Bus RAPID Transit Project has been going on for nearly a year and it's already transformed a portion of Prater Way in Sparks. Eventually, 3 miles between Pyramid Way and Prater Way in Sparks and the bus station in downtown Reno will be enhanced. It's a $58 million project that the Regional Transportation Commission says will improve transportation in the area.

"The whole point of this project is to better connect downtown Reno to downtown Sparks," says Lauren Ball, Public Information Officer for RTC. "So we're making it easier for people to get back and forth between the two downtowns of our main cities."

On Prater Way near Pyramid, the streets are newly paved and a rock garden has been added to improve the look of the area. LED street lamps have also been added along the sidewalks which have been made wider. There are more bike lanes and trees have been planted.

"If you do drive on the Sparks side, you'll kind of get a preview of what the Reno side will look like," says Ball, who says that as workers transition from the Sparks side of the project to the Reno side of the project, people can expect to see more construction on the Reno side in the near future.

"In the spring, you'll see a lot more paving," she adds.

Another major component of the project is to add enhanced RAPID transit service between 4th Street Station and Centennial Plaza. Several bus stations will be added, including one at 15th Street and Prater Way next week. New electric buses will also make their way through the corridor.

RTC estimates the project should be completed by early fall of 2018.