News 3-11-07 Virginia Bridge Meeting

RGJ has an article regarding a recent DIA meeting and discussion with the Virginia St. Bridge. Replacing the bridge is $10 million, and restoring the bridge is $40 million. Replacing bridge would later include a bike/pedestrian underpass under Virginia St. The argument in favor of restoring the bridge, the historians tell me, is it stands up against a 100-year flood, whereas the replacement bridge would widthstand a 90-year flood, and restoring the bridge would include a plan to build a step-down river access terrace, replacing the current north riverwall south of the Bruka Theater building. What do you think, restore or replace? Tell me your thoughts.

Post your comments
Posted by: Royce - 3/12/2007 6:54:48 PM
Replace the bridge. That's a no-brainer

Posted by: Kelly - 3/12/2007 6:59:43 PM
Doesn't this bridge have a lot of historical meaning? Divorcees threw their rings off it or something like that? It's worth the cost to save it.

Posted by: Steve - 3/13/2007 2:08:22 AM
Replace it.

Posted by: Justin - 3/13/2007 5:29:52 AM
I usually hate to see the loss of any historic structure, but at a difference of $30 million, I say replace it. That is a HUGE amount of money. As far as the historical value, the bridge and claims that divorcees threw their rings off the bridge were mentioned as part of an old Time magazine article on Reno. It has now become folklore that divorcees threw their rings off the bridge into the river. Of course there is much debate as to how much truth there is in these claims.

Posted by: Wiley-n-Reno - 3/13/2007 6:41:33 AM
My Mom is in her 70's and is from back east and to her Reno still means quick divorces and people supposedly chucking wedding rings off of the Virginia St. bridge. This historical significance will not be enough to save the bridge IMO. People are too cheap to save some history. I would vote to save it.

Posted by: Chris - 3/13/2007 8:42:45 AM
I can see why it costs thirty million more to restore it......have you lookedat the underside of it? There are giant chunks of the bridge falling apart and rebar exposed in some parts even. I say replace it.

Posted by: battlmnkey - 3/13/2007 5:16:43 PM
Replace it. I think it's obvious how important the bridge is, though, that they would honor the style to match the post office and everything. As long as they put up a bridge that looked retro and as nice... I threw my wedding ring off a different bridge, by hole 3 of the park.

Posted by: GreenNV - 3/13/2007 5:47:32 PM
I'm not really sure who is funding this project. If I am, it is a no brainer, replace the thing. Architecture has a life span, and the Virginia Street bridge is on life support already. I, too, was taught the legend of the ring toss ritual in my college geography class (in Ohio!). I visited the bridge on my first pass through town in 1977 - big whoop. Who knew that I would be living here 30 years later? Save some bucks, hire a REAL archiect with some finesse to redesign the cludge canopy, build the 2 block RETRAC project, and move on. We need to focus on what is really important downtown.

Posted by: Justin - 3/14/2007 7:20:11 AM
Yes, taxpayers will be picking up the bill. Would you rather pay $50 or $200? Just for clarification, I meant to say Life Magazine in my post above.

Posted by: Robert Payne - 3/14/2007 10:10:44 AM
Normally, I would be a stern advocate of protecting an historical structure. However, in this case that perspective is superceded by the fact that there is really nothing visually appealing about that bridge, and it is a lot more money to restore it than replace it. With that being said, one cannot help but be curious about the initial estimates and recognize that public perception would obviously be persuaded by the lower cost estimate of the new bridge. Obviously money is a concern, but I think the style of the bridge is equally important. The low cost estimate seems cheap. I am concerned that it is a basic design with little originality or creativity. The Virginia Street bridge design should be approached with great emphasis on its significance as a symbol of Reno's renaissance. For example, I would love to see a facade that depicted the evolution of Nevada and the West. That is one idea. Either way, my hope is that we will not get some vanilla bridge that does not due justice to the richness of Reno.

Posted by: franko - 3/14/2007 1:45:16 PM
as someone who fought hard for the mapes and lost, i now know a losing cause when i see it. i far prefer to save it, but it seems clear that the city is revving up its usual "tear it down" drum beat, and people are locking in step. it's astounding to me that people don't care about the few remaining structures in our downtown that have real historical value, yet at the same time clamor for a downtown that has real character and draws people into it. all the people who are saying "yeah, i heard that story when i lived such-and-such place elsewhere...tear it down" -- don't you see what you are saying? that is tourism based on history, and it's already known all over the place, and it's FREE advertising. a new bland looking bridge, however inexpensive and flood-resistant, cannot replace that. anyway, i'm sure it's going to be torn down in the end. the city will show us artist renderings of some really nice structure, get everyone on board. then later on they will scale it back and give us a plain boring bridge with no character or sense of place. it's the train trench plaza and the shade structure on the mapes site all over again.

Posted by: Josh Kenzer - 3/15/2007 9:35:23 AM
Replace it. Maybe they can move the old one to Lake Street like they did the old arch :P

Posted by: Jim - 3/15/2007 10:09:57 AM
Saving a piece of the bridge or moving it? I love the idea... The citzens of Reno would get the best of both worlds; history and a safe new bridge! Is this even possible? I wonder if the City Council has thought of this idea.

Posted by: toby - 3/15/2007 5:59:56 PM
If we repair the bridge, it will take 3 years. If we should have another flood before the bridge is fixed, you could say bye-bye to redevelopment. I say replace the bridge ASAP and save 30 mil.

Posted by: TahoeTeal - 11/15/2008 4:20:20 PM
The new design for 10 N. Virginia is great. Lots of glass for views and light and outdoor space, do it! The bridge needs to be replaced, it's literally crumbling! Anyone that really needs to toss their ring in the river can still do it from the new bridge.