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Sierra Street Bridge

Project Description

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC), in cooperation with the City of Reno, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is proposing to replace the aging bridge along Sierra Street over the Truckee River.

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The Sierra Street bridge was constructed in 1937 and is past the typical bridge life expectancy of 75 years. Various elements of the bridge are reaching the point where ongoing maintenance and rehabilitation can no longer address the existing deficiencies. The bridge received a “poor” rating during a June 2022 bridge inspection by the Nevada Department of Transportation. A bridge being rated as “poor” does not mean the bridge is going to fail, but indicates the bridge is near the end of its useful life. Bridges in this condition often have increased maintenance costs, more frequent inspection, and sometimes reduced load carrying capacity. The bridge has been placed on a 12-month inspection cycle, instead of the typical 24-month cycle, so that the structural health can be monitored.

The bridge is also considered scour critical because its pier and abutment footings are not supported by piles and are founded at a shallower depth than current design requirements. This means that the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) must inspect the foundations at 12-month intervals and during large storm events. The 2022 NDOT bridge inspection report noted that there is some amount of soil loss in the channel and recommended scour countermeasures to be installed at the piers. The existing bridge piers also collect debris, exacerbating flood events and resulting in road closures (most recently in 1997, 2005, and 2017).

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC), in cooperation with the City of Reno, NDOT, and the Federal Highway Administration, is proposing to replace the bridge. In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), RTC will conduct an environmental study to evaluate and document the proposed project’s potential impacts on surrounding resources. Following NEPA clearance, final design, and permitting, construction is anticipated to begin 2027.

Sierra Street Bridge at a Glance

Built in 1937 by the Nevada Highway Department
Consists of steel girders with a cast-in-place concrete deck and façade
Currently 3 spans: About 136 feet long with a width of 62 feet (44-foot roadway with two 8-foot sidewalks)
Sierra Street is two lanes. One-way southbound travel lanes with approximate average daily traffic of 6,000 trips.

Build-A-Bridge

We are looking for public input on the style of our new Sierra Street Bridge. Please take a minute to walk through this quick survey and let us know what you would like to see.

FAQ's

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions

Coming Soon…

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