What is the SouthEast Connector?
The SouthEast Connector is a new roadway being built between the south end of Sparks Boulevard in Sparks and South Meadows Parkway and Veterans Parkway in Reno. It will be build in phases, with completion scheduled for 2016. The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is the lead agency for the SouthEast Connector project. For project information from RTC, call (775) 398-5059.
Why is the SouthEast Connector needed?
The SouthEast connector is designed to relieve traffic congestion between the business / industrial area of east Sparks and an area of similar activity in south Reno. Over the years, both metro areas have grown significantly, which has resulted in heavy traffic moving over existing roads. With no direct route, congestion on streets between these areas has become a concern for both those living in nearby residential areas and businesses needing to use these corridors for commercial purposes. In addition, the project is designed to provide additional bicycle and recreational facilities to the Truckee Meadows.
SouthEast Connector Timeline and Map
The SouthEast Connector is a brand new road. From the south end of Sparks Boulevard, it passes through an area that had no north - south road before. Project studies and other necessary work leading up to actual construction have been going on for years. The project timeline calls for Phase 1 to be completed in April, 2014. Phase 2 is scheduled for completion in 2016. A map that clearly shows the route of the SouthEast Connector is included on the Project Status page.
SouthEast Connector Project Phases
Phase 1 started in February, 2013. This part of the project involves building bridges across the Truckee River and Clear Water Way and completing the road to just south of Clear Water Way. Phase 1 is scheduled for completion in April, 2014. Phase 2 continues south from the end of Phase 1 and will finish the project at South Meadows Parkway and Veterans Parkway in Reno. Phase 2 is scheduled for completion in 2016. The total length of the SouthEast Connector will be 5.5 miles.
Issues with the SouthEast Connector
The SouthEast Connector was first proposed decades ago. Planning involved several different proposed alignments until the one being built was finalized in 2008. (Download the Phase 2 alignment map for a look at where the SouthEast Connector will run between the Truckee River and south Reno.)
It has not been easy to get to this point. The chosen route will pass through wetland areas that are some of the few remaining from before white settlement. Steamboat Creek is nearby, as are ponds and marshes at the Rosewood Lakes Golf Course. A deal had to be struck with the City of Reno, owner of the golf course, which will eliminate 9 holes. The project affects the Main Station Farm belonging to the University of Nevada, Reno. Other water and wildlife-related environmental issues had to be overcome as well.
Many nearby residents aren't too happy about the SouthEast Connector, either. Many people living in the Hidden Valley neighborhood are opposed to a busy road being built next to their quiet subdivision at the foot of the Virginia Range.