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Paving the way
by Garrett Valenzuela
Feb 04, 2013 | 2553 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- The sidewalk on the north side of Prater Way in Sparks will receive a much needed upgrade on Monday as the Regional Transportation Commission begins its Prater Way Enhancement Project.
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- The sidewalk on the north side of Prater Way in Sparks will receive a much needed upgrade on Monday as the Regional Transportation Commission begins its Prater Way Enhancement Project.
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SPARKS — Prater Way will be receiving some much-needed improvements during the next two months as the Regional Transportation Commission works to repair, replace and improve existing sidewalks, curbs, gutters and handicap ramps.

The RTC, in conjunction with Spanish Springs Construction, plans to begin improving the stretch of Prater Way between View and 22nd streets in Sparks on Monday. According to RTC Project Manager Warren Call the work being done to the sidewalk area will take construction crews until May to complete.

"We will have enhancements to landscaping and lighting along the north side of Prater and it is important to the city that we make these improvements," Call said Monday.

The project is estimated to cost about $833,000 and be completed in the first part of May. The section of Prater Way being tended to has been called a "gateway" to Sparks because of the road's proximity to the city limits of Reno.

"It's one of the gateways into Sparks from Reno and certainly it is an older part of Sparks," Adam Mayberry, Community Relations Manager for the City of Sparks, said. "Any efforts the city can embark on when it comes to beautification really enhances the quality of life for everybody. The council (Sparks City Council) has made a conscious effort to use resources in older neighborhoods to beautify those parts of the city."

Landscape and irrigation improvements will be made to beautify the half-mile stretch of road, including the addition of a concrete retaining wall and improved fencing in some areas. The RTC also plans to install new street lights and adjust or rewire traffic signals for improved functionality.

An important component of the project is the improvement of ADA accessibility on the north side of Prater Way, which will bring the street and sidewalk up to code. Call said traffic control during the construction may cause motorists to be pushed onto El Rancho Drive and Victorian Avenue to avoid the road work.

The RTC has entered a 60-day construction contract with Spanish Springs Construction and RTC Public Information Officer Michael Moreno said the project is "pretty straight forward." He said impact during the construction would be minimal and that residents can track any delays or detours at www.rtcwashoe.com.

The Prater Way enhancement project is just one of the improvement projects on the docket for the RTC in Sparks. Improvements such as the McCarran Boulevard and Pyramid Way Intersection and the SouthEast Connector Project will keep the RTC busy, and the City of Sparks improving, in the future.

"The RTC will tell you that every major business and thoroughfare was predicated on the construction of the SouthEast Connector," Mayberry said. "When you have projects that reduce traffic congestion, like these major projects on the board, they also reduce air pollution and improve traffic safety. The McCarran and Pyramid intersection is a major business intersection, which means a major safety hazard.

"Ron Smith (Sparks City Council, Chairman of RTC) has been on the RTC Board of Directors since he was elected to office and he has been very passionate about getting these projects out of the planning phase and into the construction phase."
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