Road Warrior tackles manhole project delays and case of faulty highway exit signal

It’s probably safe to say that some of us have already broken our New Year’s resolutions.

Don’t worry, I won’t put you on the spot and make you raise your hand. In fact, I’ll be the first to admit that I have already broken mine. I vowed I would quit procrastinating, but I am typing these words almost a full day after the nice, timely deadline I set for myself.

It seems that some of the valley’s traffic entities are dealing with project procrastination as well.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted that a certain smelly project at Desert Inn Road and Jones Boulevard was finished. The Nevada Department of Transportation gave a permit to the Clark County Water Reclamation District to work on the manholes there.

Ring a bell?

Well, it was supposed to be finished by Dec. 9. When I checked in the week before New Year’s Eve, Transportation Department officials told me no differently. So I published that it would be done.

But readers are observant, and I received several emails reporting the work wasn’t actually done yet, and the lanes were still blocked.

So I asked again, and Damon Hodge gave us a new time frame — the middle of this week. Hopefully the reclamation district will wrap it up for real this time.

We’ll call this saga wrapped for now, but I’ll double-check midweek to be sure.

Now, onto new business.

Lance had a question about a fairly prominent intersection on the south side of the valley.

“During the middle of the night, can the southbound Interstate 15 exit signal light to eastbound St. Rose Parkway be adjusted to detect a vehicle waiting to go? So many times no one else is at the intersection, while vehicles are wasting gas and time, waiting for these timed intersection lights. … This probably pertains to drivers waiting to go in any direction at this light.”

There are few things as frustrating as waiting for what feels like forever trying to get off the freeway. But it’s a good thing you spoke up, Lance, because you have prompted change. I contacted Julie Schaller at the Regional Transportation Commission, who then passed your query along to Clark County officials.

They hit the ground running with this problem. On New Year’s Eve, a team was dispatched to check on that traffic signal’s detection. And they found a problem.

The video detection power supply was out, county spokeswoman Tammi Tiger said.

Put simply, a video camera monitors for vehicles in those exit lanes and, when it detects one, a green light is triggered. Since it wasn’t working, the longer cycle programmed into the traffic light was running even when vehicles were trying to exit.

On Jan. 3, the Clark County team returned to the intersection and replaced the power supply. Now the ball is back in RTC’s court. Tiger said the replacement might fix the problem on its own, but if not, RTC will make the appropriate timing adjustments. Schaller said it already is being monitored.

Way to speak up, Lance. You got the ball rolling, and with quite a bit of momentum.

Richard had more of a complaint than a solvable problem, but we found an answer nonetheless.

“What, or who, invented those road plates that they have all over Warm Springs Road? They are a sadist’s dream come true. Did they run out of parts? Did they run out of dirt? Is the blacktop machine broken? What is the reason for them digging a hole, removing the dirt to another location and leaving a hole to be covered by one of those? They put up no signs saying ‘bump in the road’ or ‘be prepared to lose whatever meal you most recently consumed.’ If there is an explanation, I feel you are the one to get it.”

I admire your enthusiasm, Richard ... if that’s what that is. And I do have an explanation for you, thanks to the city of Henderson.

Spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said those metal plates you so passionately dislike are due to a Southwest Gas project to replace underground gas lines.

“The plates are used to cover the open trench so that traffic lanes can be open when there is no work being done. Otherwise barricades would have to remain in place and the lanes closed 24/7,” Richards said.

The gas line is in place now, so patching will take place over the next several weeks. Then you will have a smoother drive on Warm Springs Road, Richard.

If it’s any consolation, Henderson hasn’t received any claims for tire damage because of those metal plates. So, while they’re annoying, at least they aren’t dangerous.

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