RENO, NV (KOLO) Early Monday morning, June 17, construction crews returned to the Midtown stretch of South Virginia to begin the next phase of an ambitious reconstruction project.
An artist's conception of midtown Reno after the change. Regional Transportation Commission rendering.
Those who do business there and their customers know what comes next. They've been through it before.
"People should expect more intense activity," says Lee Gibson, the Executive Director of the Regional Transportation Commission. "But we have a solid traffic control plan, very similar to what we had last time. So, if folks remember how things worked before, that's how things will work now."
Last winter was a struggle for some Midtown businesses as construction and lane changes often made access and parking challenging.
"Everybody just kind of focused on all the cones," says Mike Dunne, owner of Dragonfly Body and Bath. "After several weeks people just kind of got used to navigating the system."
The focus to this point has been the subsurface infrastructure. This phase begins the real transformation. A pedestrian-friendly,welcoming streetscape, wider sidewalks, landscaping.
Gibson says once again the work will be done in phases.
"We'red going to really focus through the summer on the side streets, reconstruction and parking, so that when we do the main line--Virginia Street--you'll be able to approach Virginia perpendicularly."
The RTC is also ramping up its community outreach efforts with an on-site information office open to field concerns, complaints and suggestions.
At the end of the project, late into 2020, Gibson says the final product will be worth the pain.
"Helping people in and out of Midtown, helping people park in Midtown, helping people have an enjoyable pedestrian and transit experience when they're in Midtown is only going to add value to businesses and property and add to a higher customer experience for everyone."
Copyright KOLO-TV 2019