Water officials hope to open Cabana today

This week readers want to know what is all that construction at Flamingo Road and Cabana Drive; is a motorist allowed to switch lanes while traveling through an intersection, and why are drivers under 21 allowed to have a blood alcohol level below 0.02 percent? And the Road Warrior shares some good news regarding fuel prices.

Duane Mattox asks: I heard a rumor that the project that has Flamingo and Cabana, among many other locations, torn up is on hold due to lack of funds. Can you verify this? Cabana is completely shut down and Flamingo is backed up most of the day. Any ideas when this mess will be finished?

The rumor that the project is shut down is false. The work being done is part of the ongoing sewer pipeline rehabilitation project by the Clark County Water Reclamation District.

Water district officials hope to have Cabana, at the intersection of Flamingo, open to traffic today, said spokesman Marty Flynn.

"The pipeline installation and rehabilitation portion will be completed in the month of December," Flynn said.

The contractor will then be testing all the new and rehabilitated sewer lines and placing them into service.

"When that is completed, the bypass pumping and odor control facilities will be removed and final paving will be done," Flynn said.

This portion of the sewer pipeline rehabilitation project, which costs $33 million, should be completed in April, he added.

According to the water district's Web site, www.cleanwaterteam.com, westbound and eastbound Flamingo will be narrowed to one lane in each direction from Mountain Vista Street to Boulder Highway and from Perry to Stephanie streets through the end of the year.

And the northbound lanes on Mountain Vista, between Vegas Valley Drive and Desert Inn Road, will be reduced to one lane through the end of the year.

Brian from Henderson asks: Is it legal to switch lanes in the middle of an intersection?

Capt. Richard Collins, head of the Metropolitan Police Department's traffic bureau, told me there is nothing in the Nevada Revised Statutes that states motorists can't change lanes in an intersection.

"But usually when my officers investigate accidents in an intersection where one car was changing lanes, that car is usually determined to be at fault," he said.

The point here seems to be that while it may be legal, it's not recommended.

Angela asks: Why in the world do we have a "legal limit" of .02 blood alcohol level for drivers under 21?

This was an excellent question. It references the recent tragic death of 15-year-old Olivia Hyten on Nov. 14. Hyten was killed after a crash in Henderson where two teens were allegedly racing. One of the drivers, 16-year-old Michael Mosley, son of District Judge Donald Mosley, had a blood alcohol level of 0.026 percent or the equivalent of less than one beer, according to the judge.

Nevada Revised Statute 483.461 states any person less than 21 years of age who shows a concentration of alcohol of 0.02 or more shall have their driver's license suspended for a mandatory 90 days.

OK, but if the legal age to drink alcohol is 21, you would think the state statute would indicate that the blood alcohol level should not be above 0.00 percent.

I spoke with STOP DUI executive director and victims' advocate Sandy Heverly who explained the reasoning behind the law.

"It allows for mouth wash or cough syrup or any kind of medication that might skew the test results," Heverly said.

Products like mouth wash or cough syrup contain trace amounts of alcohol that might be picked up by a blood or breathalyzer test.

And obviously you don't have to be 21 years old to suppress a cough or have minty fresh breath.

Hit n' Run

During the sweaty days of July, I doubted we would ever see a gallon of regular gasoline fall below $2 again. But thanks to a global economic meltdown, we in the valley are starting to see gasoline prices below two bucks a gallon.

Vegasgasprices.com on Tuesday reported the average price for a gallon of regular petrol in the valley at $1.99. DFM fuel station at 6100 West Charleston had the lowest reported price of $1.82, according to the Web site.

If you have a question, tip or tirade, call Francis McCabe at (702) 387-2904, or send an e-mail to roadwarrior@review journal.com. Please include your phone number.