Plans call for utility lines to be placed on temporary poles to span the Truckee.
"This is going to help us a great deal in order to hit the road running," Lanza told the Reno Gazette-Journal
Major construction is likely to begin next June, with the structure replaced sometime in 2016.
The concrete, double-arched bridge needs to be replaced not only because of its age, officials said, but because it acts as a bottleneck during floods and causes water to pour onto downtown streets.
The construction of a new "bowstring truss" bridge that allows easier passage of debris-laden floodwaters is a major component of the Truckee River Flood project.
"It's critical to do this," said Jay Aldean, flood project director. "The Virginia Street Bridge is crumbling as we speak. It's probably one of the worst bridges in the country."
Construction bids are scheduled to be awarded by the Reno City Council in March, and major demolition is expected to begin in June.
Removal of the existing bridge and construction of the new one could take up to 18 months to complete, but strong incentives are in place to finish the job early, city officials said.