What once was a dusty nuisance and construction headache to some is now a beacon of flood safety and outdoor serenity for all at Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs , 9200 Tule Springs Road .
Trails are open while crews put the finishing touches on the more than $22 million Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs Environmental Enhancement Project .
The 18-month endeavor included construction of two environmental enhancement areas acting as flood-control facilities, 5,600 feet of concrete pipe under surrounding roads and 4 3/10 miles of trails with natural foliage and shaded picnic areas.
The project is designed to help alleviate severe flash flooding that can occur during heavy rains.
"We're calling it an environmental enhancement project because we just didn't dig two big detention basins," Ward 6 Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross said . "We really put our tax dollars to work and created two things : detention basins and a great pathway system and hiking system."
Funding was provided by the Clark County Regional Flood Control District , the city of Las Vegas and the Bureau of Land Management through the sale of public lands as authorized by the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act , which allows money from Nevada federal land sales to be used for state park and trail projects.
Sunny skies didn't always hang over the project .
In late 2010 , neighbors bristled at excessive dust caused by multiple metric tons of dirt being hauled from the project area. They requested that trucks be rerouted, but the move would have forced financial backers to cough up as much as $3 million more, Ross said.
The routes were spaced out, and the dust hoopla lifted.
In September 2011 , work was interrupted when contractor Spirit Underground filed for bankruptcy. City staff members hired Perini Construction to take over.
With hard work and headaches in the rear view, it's time to celebrate the new space.
Ross invites the public to a one-mile fun walk and detention basin ribbon cutting from 12-4 p.m. April 7 at the park.
The event is also the councilman's annual Spring Fling , a free family-friendly afternoon of amusement park rides, jump houses, crafts, games, a farmers market, community vendors, live entertainment and more.
"I come out here quite often in the mornings and see a lot of people using these trails before we have it dedicated and opened yet," Ross said. "I think that's great."
Among the visitors are equestrians who live nearby.
Arlene Maurer relocated with her three horses in November to be literally steps away from a full trail system, she said.
"I moved over here to this side of town just because of the park," she said. "I can ride out of my front door and be in the park. You could ride 10 hours a day if you wanted."
Maurer and her granddaughter have had after-school picnics in parts of the Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs Environmental Enhancement Project.
"It's just gorgeous," she said. "I'll be using these trails forever."
Maurer's friend and real estate agent Terri Gamboa introduced her to the park. Gamboa, also an equestrian, uses Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs as a selling point to her clients. The improvements strengthen her case, she said.
"It adds beauty, it adds green and trees and an outdoors feel," she said. "It feels like there is life now in the desert."
The Centennial Hills resident said she encouraged her neighbors to be patient during project construction.
"We were willing to put up with it because we knew what was coming," she said.
And the payoff has been great. Gamboa described some idyllic scenes she has witnessed in the new portion of the park.
"I saw a lady riding around in a carriage behind a little pony," she said. "It reminded me of Central Park in New York City. Man, that's the way it should be -- people walking dogs, hiking, sitting at the tables. It's fabulous, and everyone is starting to enjoy it."
Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter Maggie Lillis at email@example.com or 477-3839.