The SouthEast connector will provide these key benefits to the region:

  1. Improving connectivity for north/south travel
    • The new roadway will provide an alternative route to the heavily traveled US 395/I-580 freeway and Southeast McCarran Boulevard. Recent development in the eastern Truckee Meadows has resulted in more demand for travel routes from the south and west. Traffic patterns are heavy on the east side of Reno/Sparks, with fewer roadways to serve existing and future demand. This project will offer motorists another, more direct option between the northeast and south Truckee Meadows and alleviate congestion on parallel roadways.
  2. Relieve current and future traffic congestion
    • The RTC uses the Regional Consensus Forecast, developed by the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency, to determine anticipated population growth and projected travel demand on regional roadways. Based on this forecast, significant traffic congestion and associated travel time delays are expected to impact portions of I-80, I-580, South McCarran Boulevard, Longley Lane, Greg Street, and Double R Boulevard by the year 2030. This project will provide an alternate north/ south travel route and reduce traffic volumes on these and other regional routes. This project will also provide a much needed alternative route for emergency responders, reducing response times.
  3. Accommodate current and future employment centers and commercial and housing developments
    • This project will provide an efficient route for commuters in the northeast Truckee Meadows area to access employment centers in the south Truckee Meadows, and improve access for commuters in the growing south Truckee Meadows to access jobs in Sparks and the east Truckee River Canyon, along I-80. The new roadway will also improve access to retail centers and recreational areas within the northeast and south Truckee Meadows.
  4. Provide additional options for other modes of transportation in this corridor
    • The RTC is researching opportunities to provide transit service along the new roadway corridor, including new bus routes and intercity service to Carson City. The project includes development of a 5.5 mile long multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists, connecting the Truckee River bike path and Sparks to Hidden Valley and the South Truckee Meadows. While providing non-motorized transportation options, the new multi-use path will also provide opportunities for future development of recreational access to the dedicated open space that will be created through a program being developed for the stewardship of the Steamboat Creek riparian corridor within the project limits. This program will consist of deed restrictions to protect the open space from future development and includes provisions for maintenance of the corridor.
  5. Enhanced safety for motorized and non-motorized travel
    • The new SouthEast Connector will have a limited number of intersections between Greg Street and South Meadows Parkway. This will allow traffic to flow more smoothly and minimize the number of potential conflicts at intersections— resulting in fewer crashes.The project will be designed to meet the safety criteria of a high-speed roadway with features including wide shoulders, full median and/or barrier rail, turn lanes at intersections, and separation of the multi-use path from vehicle lanes.
  6. Additional emergency access during flood events
    • Project engineers have developed hydraulic (water flow) models both to demonstrate that the new roadway will not increase flooding within existing developments and developable properties and to ensure that the new roadway will be passable in a 117-year flood event. As part of this project, a section of Mira Loma Drive east of its intersection with the new roadway will also be elevated above the 117-year flood elevation, providing access from the SouthEast Connector to the Hidden Valley area during large flood events.Currently there is limited access to the Hidden Valley area during large flood events. This project will enhance emergency vehicle access to Hidden Valley, the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility, and areas east of Steamboat Creek during Truckee River and Steamboat Creek flood events.
  7. Enhancing environmental resources
    • The RTC and the design team have developed innovative environmental strategies to protect wildlife, improve water and air quality, and restore native vegetation affected by project construction. The proposed enhancements were developed in close coordination with, and are subject to review and approval by, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, State Historical Preservation Office, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Nevada Division of State Lands, and the Nevada Division of Wildlife. The RTC is working closely with all agencies and stakeholders to ensure that the project will meet or exceed applicable environmental regulations.
    • Environmental enhancements proposed as part of this project include:
    • Laying-back creek banks along sections of Steamboat Creek to reconnect the creek with its natural floodplain, providing improved hydraulic function and improved water quality downstream.
    • Revegetation of the modified creek banks with native vegetation to minimize future erosion and reestablish a more natural stream habitat.
    • Development of an Integrated Weed Management Plan for noxious weed abatement within the project corridor during and after construction to aid in reestablishing and maintaining native vegetation within the project corridor.
    • Design and construction of an extensive, self-sustaining mitigation wetlands system.
    • Development of a program for the stewardship of the Steamboat Creek riparian corridor within the project limits. This program will consist of deed restrictions to prevent future development within the dedicated open space and include provisions for maintenance of the corridor and monitoring of the required mitigation wetlands. Stewardship of the corridor will be funded in perpetuity through an endowment fund established by the RTC.
    • Development of a Soil Management Plan for the safe handling of mercury contaminated soil within the project corridor and placement of soil within the roadway embankment to minimize future ecological exposure (mercury contamination upstream of the project corridor from both natural sources and legacy mining activity will continue to move through the system).
  8. Economic benefits
    • The SouthEast Connector provides a significant economic investment in our community and will create jobs during construction and future economic prosperity.
    • Creates 120 direct jobs; indirectly 1,200.
    • Short term benefits: every dollar spent on infrastructure construction produces roughly double the initial spending in ultimate economic output.
    • Long term benefits: over a 20 year period, generalized public investment generates an accumulated $3.21 of economic activity for every $1 spent on infrastructure construction.