As pedestrians in a marked crosswalk dodged vehicles turning right onto Sahara Avenue from Las Vegas Boulevard Wednesday afternoon, the need for safety improvements was evident.
One of the busiest remaining Las Vegas Strip intersections without pedestrian bridges is slated to receive the safety feature in the coming years.
Plans call for pedestrian bridges to be built linking all four corners of the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue, according to city documents submitted to the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.
Construction on the planned $27.5 million project is scheduled to begin July 2022, with an expected completion date in January 2024, city documents showed. The project will be administered by the city in coordination with Clark County Public Works.
Between 2015 and 2017 two pedestrians were killed and 11 injured in the area near the intersection, according to Department of Public Safety data. Additionally, a pedestrian was struck and killed near the intersection last month.
The area sees an average of 69,000 vehicles commuting through the intersection daily, according to 2017 Nevada Department of Transportation data, which serves as the gateway to downtown Las Vegas for tourists traveling north on the Strip.
“I’m very enthusiastic about new pedestrian bridges at Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard,” said Mayor Carolyn Goodman in an email. “We want to make it safe and convenient for our residents and the millions of visitors who come to experience everything that Las Vegas has to offer.”
Currently the intersection, which features SLS, the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, the Bonanza Gift Shop and a Walgreens in the four corners, is striped with marked crosswalks only. This new project will elevate pedestrians above the intersection, leading to improved safety and the reduction of traffic congestion in the area, the plans state.
The project includes constructing a new pedestrian bridge with associated walkways, ramps, elevators, escalators and stairs.
Right-of-way acquisitions will be needed for touchdown and column locations that occur within private parcels.
The existing traffic signal at Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard also will need to be modified to accommodate the new bridge, according to the city.
Mother and daughter Linda and Ashley Leggett, visiting from Ontario, Canada to escape the one-foot of snow in lieu of the 60-degree sunshine in Las Vegas this week, said a bridge was a great idea.
“There’s an awful lot of traffic,” said Linda Leggett, who had just walked north on Las Vegas Boulevard across Sahara Avenue. “I think it would be better if they had an overpass. I’d feel safer and we wouldn’t have to wait for the light as well.”
The mother-daughter duo has visited the city multiple times in the past, with Ashley Leggett even getting married here in 2015, and they said they’ve noticed the pedestrian upgrades being made on the Strip.
“I’ve used the other bridges and seen the bollards,” Ashely Legget said. “I definitely feel safer because of them.”
Contact Mick Akers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.