Commissioners approve $110 million in bonds for road projects

That extra 3.2 cents a gallon you started paying for gas in January will actually go somewhere.

Clark County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan to issue $110 million in highway revenue bonds. The bonds will finance 70 highway and road improvement projects throughout the valley.

Commissioners in September decided to allow the fuel tax to increase by tying increases to inflation. The first increase, which started in January, was 3.2 cents a gallon.

Those increases, in turn, generate dollars that will go toward highway and road projects throughout Clark County.

All told, the fuel tax increases will allow the county to borrow up to $700 million for road projects. The future increases in the tax are estimated at about 3 cents a year in 2015 and 2016. The total list, which includes funding from future increases, has 183 projects totaling $693 million. Future bonds will be issued as the work progresses.

Commissioners stressed the importance of getting projects going on schedule. With the fuel tax increases just starting, there are three years to get projects started.

“We have a three-year window and we’re going to accomplish a great deal,” said Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani.

The Regional Transportation Commission and cities of Henderson, North Las Vegas, Las Vegas and Boulder City all have projects on the list. They include design and construction of Interstate 11 from U.S. Highway 95 to the Hoover Dam Bridge, improvements on Desert Inn Road from Paradise Road to Mojave Road and improvements at the intersection of Rancho Drive and Decatur Boulevard.

They aren’t all just road projects. Las Vegas, for example, has pedestrian safety upgrades planned, with pedestrian-activated flashers at several intersections, including Bonanza Road at Lillian Street, Buffalo Drive at Gillmore Avenue, and Sahara Avenue at Las Verdes Street.

Contact reporter Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or 702-405-9781. Follow him on Twitter @BenBotkin1.