The Regional Transportation Commission will be working on Victorian Avenue between Pyramid Way and McCarran Boulevard starting in mid-September. The work should continue until Dec. 23, according to project manager Warren Call.
Call added that the work will start after the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off, an event that draws about 500,000 people to nearby Victorian Square throughout the first week of September.
According to Call, the $4.4 million project will bring the strip of Victorian Avenue down from four lanes to three, with two lanes going east and one lane going west. The project will also put more than 100 Victorian-style lamp posts along the road. In addition to the lamp posts, RTC will be installing about 50 trees along the 4,200-foot stretch of road.
“The whole concept is to link downtown with the (Sparks) Marina and Scheels (All Sports),” Call said.
The construction project will also add a 10-foot bike lane on the northern edge of the road.
According to Hans Swartzentruber, a project consultant with TRC consulting, the bike lane will connect with Nichols Boulevard, taking bikers to from downtown to the Marina while bypassing busy McCarran Boulevard.
Access to businesses will remain open through the three months of construction, Call said. However, the road will be reduced to one lane going one way at some points in the project, he added.
Residents and business owners will still be able to access their property for the most part, Call said, however residents will not be able to park on the sidewalk closest to Interstate 80.
According to Call, the RTC sent out mailers to 61 area residents and business owners affected by the project. By Nevada law, the RTC is required to notify anyone living within 750 feet of a proposed project about informational meeting times and project effects.
Hanson was one of those residents. She came to an informational meeting at Sparks City Hall Tuesday to learn a little more about the project and how it would affect her.
Hanson said that she was really on a fact finding mission, not only for herself, but also for her neighbor, who had to work during the 3 to 7 p.m. meeting. Specifically, she was concerned about the neighbor’s children.
“I think this will make it safer for them,” Hanson said. “They are coming into their teen years and they ride bikes.”
Following Tuesday’s meeting, project managers will start taking contracting bids.
The majority of the $4.4 million project is being paid for with RTC-5 ballot question funds recently approved by the Nevada Legislature. The city of Sparks will be chipping in about $470,000 to the project, according to city spokesman Adam Mayberry.
Mayberry added that most of the road is owned by the city of Sparks, however a portion is owned and maintained by the Nevada Department of Transportation.