RTC NEWS — The first phase of the SouthEast Connector is substantially complete, about six months ahead of schedule. Contractor Kiewit Western still has roughly two months for finishing touches, however major work is completed. The SouthEast Connector is being built in two phases. The first phase is from the intersection of Sparks Boulevard and Greg Street to about 800 feet south of Clean Water Way. Phase one constitutes about a mile of the overall 5.5 mile long roadway – it also involved the construction of two bridges.
Construction began on the first phase of the SouthEast Connector in February 2013. Phase one construction poured enough concrete to fill a football field three stories high. Enough soil was moved to fill a football field 20 stories high. Roughly 4,430 tons of steel was placed – much of which was used in the construction of the Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Truckee River.
Funded through RTC-5, phase one construction cost about $65 million. An advanced drill shaft, equipped with sensors, was used in creating the foundation that supports the Veterans Memorial Bridge. This is the first time this has been done on a public works project in Nevada, resulting in greater efficiency and a savings of about $1 million.
The largest RTC project to date, the SouthEast Connector will be a model for sustainable road design. The road will feature three travel lanes in each direction for vehicles, a multi-use path will parallel the entire roadway and the project will benefit the environment. The project will help water spread out over the floodplain, reducing erosion and improving water quality. Additionally, a program is planned for the monitoring and maintenance of wetlands. The SouthEast Connector also provides a new escape route during a disaster, preventing part of the community from being cut off. The new Veterans Memorial Bridge has a greater flood tolerance than the nearby McCarran Boulevard Bridge, which was closed as recently as December 2012 because of flood concerns.
Work on the second phase of the SouthEast Connector is expected to begin in autumn. The United States Army Corps of Engineers is continuing to evaluate RTC’s application for a permit under the Clean Water Act, which is needed for construction of phase two. Although phase one construction is substantially complete, the roadway will remain closed. Members of the public should not enter closed areas and active construction zones for their own safety.
Regular updates on the SouthEast Connector project are provided at: http://www.SouthEastConnector.com.