Virginia Street Project Team accelerates construction in light of COVID-19

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) and Sierra Nevada Construction will accelerate Virginia Street construction in light of COVID-19. Governor Sisolak ordered statewide mandatory non-essential business closures in hopes to stop the spread of COVID-19 last week.

Due to the mandated closures RTC said it received many inquiries from businesses to use this opportunity to finish the project faster. Virginia Street will be closed to traffic from Mary Street and Center Street to Mt. Rose Street. There will be no through traffic for this section of Virginia Street as crews will work to remove the entire roadway.

This closure will be effective 24/7 until April 17, 2020 when businesses are anticipated to re-open.

RTC’s Interim Executive Director Amy Cummings said, “We understand this is a very difficult time for our entire community, small businesses are included in that.”

Cummings continued, “When we had the request to see what we could do to intensify our construction now and accelerate that schedule so there will be less impact later in the summer when we are hoping the businesses will be back well underway and have their doors open, we wanted to do everything and accommodate those requests.”

RTC said this may result in an earlier completion date for the overall project as these construction operations were originally scheduled for late April.

Employees at Pizzava and Thai Chili said this is a great opportunity for crews to pick up momentum. Owner of Pizzava, Sabri Arslankara said, “I just want this road to end sooner than expected, just so when businesses come back they have a beautiful street, and they are just ready to roll."

Thai Chili employee, Natjeera Thontmaha said, “As long as people can go in and out, like more customers come back, that's a good thing."

Traffic will be detoured to Holcomb Avenue during the closure. People could still access businesses that are open because the expanded sidewalks are complete in this portion of the project.

After April 17, traffic between Mary Street/Center Street to Mt. Rose Street will be one-way, southbound only until construction is complete in that section.

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