Scorpion statue snatched near Summerlin Parkway East

We begin this week’s Road Warrior somberly.

Hat in hand, a funeral march and a moment of silence.

The honored subject?

A giant scorpion statue.

(I’ll bet you $5 that wasn’t your first guess.)

We can thank reader Anne for this odd and melancholy dive into questions, because she was the observant one who pointed it out:

“Who do I contact about the giant scorpion that has probably been stolen from the center divider on Durango Drive at the Summerlin East turn? I’m pretty sure it was there last Monday. The two scorpions were my favorites of all the sculptures that I have seen recently — they looked like they were battling.”

I can’t say I noticed the missing scorpion. But I do know who to contact — the city of Las Vegas. Spokeswoman Margaret Kurtz confirmed the eight-legged disappearance.

“It is, unfortunately, true. One of the scorpions indeed is missing from the median island improvements at Durango and Summerlin Parkway East. This sculpture, which cost between $600 and $700, was securely attached to a 2,000-pound boulder. It would have taken some heavy equipment, time and determination to remove it.”

I wondered at first how someone could get away with that, but then I realized if I saw somebody on a bulldozer out in the median moving rocks around, I probably would assume they were there on official business.

Sounds like someone had way too much time and energy on their hands, Anne.

Kurtz pointed out that even with the theft, those statues and sculptures are easier to maintain (and replace, in this case) than plants. So they’ll keep using them, and we can keep imagining those elaborate scorpion fight scenes on our way home from work.

Glenn, on the opposite side of town, had a speed limit question.

“I’m a new resident to the Seven Hills area and would like to get your input. I can understand the speed reduction from 35 mph to 30 mph by Elise Wolff Elementary School, but why does it remain at 30 mph after school and throughout the rest of the community? A good comparison is nearby Anthem Parkway, which includes all the seniors in the Sun City community, where the speed limit is an unusually high 45 mph.”

Glenn actually had three questions, but this first one was the most interesting to investigate. And according to spokesman Keith Paul, the city of Henderson already has.

The speed limit by the school originally was only 25 mph, until a resident requested a traffic study be done to see if that was too slow.

“It was concluded that the speed limit could be raised to 30 mph with the main issues being sight distance,” Paul said. “However, the curvature of the roadway along with the landscaping also factored into the speed limit.”

Henderson abides by the Federal Highway Administration’s rules to set its speed limits. The factors included are prevailing speed, adjacent land use, physical geometry, roadway lighting, pedestrian activity and sight distance.

So Glenn, it’s slower than you want, but faster than it used to be. Sounds like a decent compromise to me.

Lastly, we have another question answered by Paul, asked by another Ann — not to be confused with scorpion Anne up top.

“We are out in Henderson east of Boulder Highway, would like to know if there is any plan to connect Newport Drive across the drainage channel. It would shorten the access to local businesses. They have pedestrian crossings that give good access to the park and Basic High School but cars have to use Racetrack Road to Boulder or Burkholder Boulevard to Lake Mead Parkway. Also, that asphalt on Racetrack Road is in very rough shape, and has been for about 10 or more years. What gives there?”

The city has solutions for one of your problems, Ann, and it’s fresh off the stove.

“The Henderson City Council at its Jan. 21 meeting approved a contract for an engineering consultant to create a design improvements plan for the Boulder Highway area including the construction of a bridge on Newport Drive to connect to Pueblo Boulevard making Newport Drive a through roadway.”

There will be improvements made to Boulder Highway and Burkholder Boulevard in that area, but no mention of Racetrack Road. The design and contractor selection will finish late this year, and then construction should take about nine months, Paul said.

That will be a much-needed change. It’s frustrating to have to go all the way around that big span of desert. Soon we’ll be able to drive straight through it!

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