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Henderson project to ‘reimagine’ Boulder Highway stretch

The city of Henderson is moving forward with a project to reimagine the nearly century-old Boulder Highway.

The city plans to add bus lanes to the middle of the highway, bus stops within the medians, bike lanes on each side of the road, improved sidewalks, pedestrian ramps and improved lighting to the stretch of road.

The project will remodel the 7.6 mile stretch of highway within Henderson’s borders, from Tulip Falls Drive in the north to Wagonwheel Drive in the south, according to Scott Jarvis, project engineer and bicycle program manager for the city of Henderson.

Jarvis said construction on the project is expected to begin early next year and finish in two years.

“The reimagine project is exactly what the title states, it’s reimagining Boulder Highway and creating a safer, more efficient corridor that addresses the needs both current and future,” Jarvis said.

The seeds of the project grew out of a planning study by the Regional Transportation Commission of Nevada to explore how to best improve the 92-year-old road.

Jarvis said Henderson is the first city to follow up on the commission’s study and is communicating with the other municipalities that Boulder Highway runs through.

“Boulder Highway was constructed in 1931 as a state highway. Over the last 90-plus years, our community has grown and changed what is needed from this corridor,” Jarvis said.

Henderson’s project is funded by money from RTC, federal grants and the city. Henderson chose Atkins Global, an infrastructure design company, to design the reimagine project and partnered with Las Vegas Paving for construction, according to Jarvis.

A historic highway

Rick Watson, one of the directors of the Henderson Historical Society, said Boulder Highway predates the city of Henderson by more than two decades and played a vital role in the beginnings of what would later be known as Henderson.

The area began as a townsite around the magnesium plant for Basic Magnesium Inc., which manufactured magnesium for the war effort in World War II. Originally plant workers lived in a tent city along the highway called Anderson’s Camp, named after a caterer who provided food for the Hoover Dam project and the magnesium plant, Watson said.

Boulder Highway served as an important link for the community, connecting Las Vegas, Boulder City and the area that’s now Henderson.

Local business reactions

Boulder Highway business owners and operators interviewed about the project are mostly enthusiastic.

“I think it’s an incredible idea. It’s gonna bring more business, I’m hoping,” Linda Perea, manager of Amour Nails and Hair Studio, said of the project.

Perea said she hopes the area around the highway will “blow up” in popularity, bringing more business and new developments to the highway.

Kelli Brown, owner of Action Comics and Games, said the project overall will be positive. She said it will allow customers to get into her store’s plaza, located on Boulder Highway near the Lake Mead Parkway intersection, easier and safer once it’s finished.

Josh Nilson, owner of Dark Horse Tactical on Boulder Highway near Wagonwheel Drive, said he has mixed feelings. Beautifying the highway is good, especially where his business sits, an area less developed than other sections of Boulder Highway.

But Nilson has concerns about potential traffic congestion. Nelson said some of the lane changes the project and its construction will likely create congestion.

Nilson said he’s talked to other business owners who share his reservations about traffic, but he also noted that people will likely get used to it.

Both Nilson and Jarvis both noted that Las Vegas Valley residents are used to seeing construction on valley roads. Jarvis asked that drivers be patient with the city while the project’s construction is underway.

“In advance we’re asking people to please bear with us. We’ll try to accommodate businesses and people using the corridor but with construction comes orange cones, and we’re all familiar with that,” he said.

Contact Mark Credico at mcredico@reviewjournal.com. Follow him on Instagram @writermark2.

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