Public Gets Sneak Peek at SouthEast Connector
Construction crews still have a little cleaning up to do, but this past Saturday about 4,000 people got a chance to walk or ride their bike along the newly built 5.5 mile road that connects south Reno to east Sparks.
Construction on the SouthEast Connector finished Tuesday. Construction crews still have a little cleaning up to do, but Saturday about 4,000 people got a chance to walk or ride their bike along the newly built 5.5 mile road that connects south Reno to east Sparks.
Certainly it will make south and east Reno more accessible for residents in Sparks.
"I've been looking forward to this for a long time," Katherine Williams, Sparks resident, says. "We have family that lives out in Hidden Valley and we're in Sparks, so it's always been a really long commute between the two. So we're excited to get to them quicker."
"I can't wait to use it," John Hughes, Sparks resident, says. "I've been looking forward to this day just to be able to walk it a bit. My brother and his wife, their family lives in south Reno just off Toll Road, so that's really going to be big for us."
Both Williams and Hughes will use the road often, but they're also excited to drive some of the other roads and highways to see how much relief this new road provides for traffic around town.
"I'm wondering how it's going to impact traffic on the freeway," Williams says. "If it's going to lessen it there."
"Even taking congestion off of Pyramid with people trying to get out there," Hughes says. "Because it's pretty easy to get up and get on to Sparks Blvd. now and just keep going all the way out there."
While the road undoubtedly makes travel convenient, some residents have reached out to us to voice their concerns about potential speeders.
The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County says that's part of the reason the road is 45 mph. RTC has been in contact with law enforcement about the new road, and they encourage anyone who sees chronic speeding to notify law enforcement. The section from Greg Street to Pembroke Drive is in Sparks, south of Pembroke Dr. to South Meadows Parkway is in Reno, and south of that is in Washoe County.
Another concern has been about environmental impact, but Project Construction Manager George Jordy says they added 80 acres of wetlands, and built to mitigate flooding.
"We still have to plant some more trees, we've planted 600-something trees," Jordy says. "The way this roadway was designed even if we had a 117-year flood at least one lane in each direction would be high and dry, full length.
RTC says the official opening of the road to the public for driving will be Friday evening July 6th by 9 p.m.