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FAQ's

RTC recognizes that the project location is a busy area heavily used by residents, employees, and visitors. While replacing the bridge will be disruptive during construction, RTC will coordinate with the City of Reno, affected stakeholders, and the general public to develop plans for maintaining vehicular travel, business access, sidewalk and Riverwalk use, and recreational river use. At this time, RTC can confirm that the segment of Sierra Street over the Truckee River, as well as the adjacent roadway approaches, will be closed during construction. Vehicles, buses, pedestrians, cyclists, and other active transportation modes will be detoured to adjacent routes during this time. River flows will be maintained during construction, but will be constrained to a smaller portion of the channel during in-water work periods anticipated to occur between July 1 and October 31 for two consecutive years. Construction is anticipated to start in 2027 after the Arlington Avenue Bridges project is completed. RTC will continue to work collaboratively with residents and businesses to plan appropriately and minimize construction-related impacts. Prior to construction, RTC will communicate more details regarding closures, detours, and access for residents, businesses, and recreationists.
The City of Reno established a pedestrian safety zone along Sierra Street from 3rd Street to Ridge Street in 2022. The Sierra Street Bridge Replacement project is being designed to support a 20 mile per hour (mph) speed limit consistent with pedestrian safety zone requirements. Based on coordination with stakeholders and input from the public, RTC has refined the roadway cross section of the Sierra Street bridge replacement and added safety features. Parking on the west edge of the bridge deck will be removed and a 4-foot buffer will be placed between the parking lane and the adjacent travel lane on the east side of the bridge deck. This change will improve sight distance throughout the project limits and is aimed at reducing the number of crashes in the area. In addition, sidewalk widths will be increased from approximately 8 feet wide to 10 feet wide and pedestrian bulb-outs will be added for the Riverwalk crossings at the north and south ends of the bridge to improve pedestrian visibility, shorten crosswalk lengths, and provide traffic calming. Flashing crosswalk lights will be installed at the Riverwalk crosswalk on the north side the bridge.

The project will update access ramps to the river at the south side of the bridge. Currently, the southwest corner of the bridge has a switch-back ramp that serves as a take-out for whitewater park users. For this ramp, the City of Reno has asked for improved maintenance access to the Cochrane Ditch . To accommodate this, a vehicle access ramp with a roughly 12.8% grade is planned to replace the existing ramp. There will be a level landing provided at the bottom for maintenance workers.

Because the new southwest corner ramp will not be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ramp on the southeast corner of the bridge will be upgraded and lengthened so that it meets ADA and serves as a whitewater park take-out. The new southeast corner ramp will be similar to the ramp at the southwest corner of the Virginia Street Bridge. This ramp will extend down to grouted rock so that whitewater park users can exit the river at this location. This ramp may also serve those who wish to access the river for fishing. There will be grouted rock that starts at the Cochrane Ditch outfall (southwest side) and continues to the southeast takeout. This will give river users places to sit along the water as well.

Based on recent transportation planning efforts, Sierra Street has not been identified for implementation of bike lanes. These planning efforts are documented in the Downtown Reno Circulation Study (Appendix G of the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan) and the Downtown Reno Conceptual Bicycle Network Report. Several corridors in downtown Reno were identified for facilities to create a core network of safe and comfortable routes for micromodes, including bicycles. These routes have lower traffic volumes and speeds to prioritize the movement, safety, and connectivity for micromodes. The three routes across the Truckee River in downtown Reno include Virginia Street, Center Street, and Lake Street. If the City decides to implement a bike lane on Sierra Street in the future, this could be accomplished through restriping as the proposed bridge deck is wide enough to accommodate this feature.
Current adopted city and regional plans do not envision a grade-separation at Sierra Street for the Truckee River Trail, which is part of the larger Tahoe-Pyramid Trail. The space limitations and existing flooding issues create substantial constraints for grade-separating the trail along the river in the downtown area. To grade-separate the trail at Sierra Street, the bridge would need to be raised between 12 and 14 feet. This scenario would create substantial impacts to adjacent properties because the roadway would be several feet higher than the current ground surface preventing ingress and egress for residences and businesses in buildings along Sierra Street. Alternately, the trail could be put into a tunnel under Sierra Street. However, this scenario is undesirable due to safety concerns and the need to pump rainwater out of the low point. This segment of the Truckee River Trail is part of the Truckee Riverwalk that is heavily used by pedestrians, who are often reluctant to use subterranean facilities. Flashing crosswalk lights will be installed at the Riverwalk crosswalk on the north side the bridge.
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