Cactuses abound, from interchanges to license plates

We live in the desert, and there’s prickly stuff everywhere.

The dichotomous nature of things. The softness inside, the grit on the outside. The way you can plan for the future like a cactus does.

Something like that.

Let’s see where this goes.

Burton wrote in with a softball, but it’s one that will affect a lot of people, so it deserves an answer. “Is the roadwork at I-15 & Cactus going to create a new on/off ramp for I-15 north and south bound?” he wrote in an email.

Yes, it will. This project is huge.

The southern leg of Interstate 15, as anyone who lives out that way knows, has only three exits between the Las Vegas Beltway and, basically, California.

There’s Blue Diamond Road, which is a problem because there’s no exit to the east. There’s Silverado Ranch Boulevard, which is far too busy. Way far away is St. Rose Parkway, which is pretty much at the end of the world.

All of this is crazy. Thousands of people live out that way. They have few good ways of getting into town and back home.

The Cactus Avenue construction, which began this past spring, will build an entire new interchange, similar to the one at Silverado Ranch.

While they’re at it, workers will also build Cactus Avenue between Dean Martin Drive and Las Vegas Boulevard, and improve Cactus between Polaris Avenue and Dean Martin.

There will be new traffic signals and flood control do-dads and aesthetic improvements, too.

William wrote in with a different kind of cactus question. He started with a compliment, which is always a smart idea, and noted a recent column where I answered a question about decorations along the freeway.

“Would you be able to supply the name of the company that made the welded, Ocotillo cactus on Rampart near the entrance of Del Webb Sun City?”

Indeed I can, William.

That was made by the city of Las Vegas, not an outside company.

So the good news: We have some talented folks working for the government here locally. But the bad news is that you can’t run down to Home Depot and buy one of these cool cactuses yourself.

Susannah is making me stretch here with the cactus theme, but stick with me.

“My question regards the specialty license plates, specifically the Children in the Arts edition, which were issued to me in 2005. While I have no problem continuing to pay the worthy renewal fee, I loved the look of them. I use the past tense because the background is now so faded as to appear white. Is there any way to get new/refreshed versions, or must I wait until my next car purchase?”

There is, Susannah, and it will cost you only a few bucks.

This plate, for those not familiar, raises money for the Nevada Arts Council and VSA Nevada, which focuses on getting children with disabilities involved in art.

The plate features a facsimile of a child’s crayon drawing of the desert, with mountains and coyotes and — wait for it — a thing that looks like it could maybe be a cactus.

Kevin Malone, a spokesman for the Nevada DMV, said Susannah (or anyone else) can order a duplicate plate for $11. Go to the DMV office and bring your old plates with you. They will give you a temporary permit until your new ones come in the mail.

You could also just get new Children in the Arts plates, with a new plate number, if you want to, but it will cost you the whole $51 plate fee.

Either way, you’ll have a shiny new cactus-resembling thing on your car.

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