There’s some major work happening on the Las Vegas Valley’s major freeways, so it’s time to answer a pressing question a few of you have asked in recent weeks.
Is it Interstate 95 or U.S. Highway 95 — and what the heck is the difference?
If you guessed U.S. Highway 95, you’re right.
But the road overlaps with Interstate 515 and U.S. Highway 93 for roughly 20 miles between the Spaghetti Bowl interchange and Boulder Highway, Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Illia said.
The numbered U.S. highway system started in 1926, predating the National Interstate Highway System by 30 years.
For those keeping track, U.S. 95 was designated in 1940, while the I-515 classification came in 1976.
The U.S. highway and interstate systems have road construction standards that determine lane width, shoulders and other items.
One major difference drivers might notice: Interstates are a little fancier and generally paved with better materials.
“The interstate highway system is stricter than highways, requiring two lanes each way, a divided highway, limited access and better roadbeds,” Illia said. “Consequently, multiple highway signs can sometimes be found along the same route sharing a common segment.”
Crosswalk signal fixed
Jay from Las Vegas noticed that the crosswalk signal isn’t working on Rampart Avenue at the entrance to the Boca Park shopping center, near Charleston Boulevard.
“When you push the crosswalk button on the southwest corner to cross Rampart, the ‘walk’ light never turns on,” Jay said. “It always displays the ‘don’t cross’ status.”
Your question prompted the Las Vegas traffic engineering field operations crew to repair the crosswalk signal a few weeks ago, and it should be working properly, city spokeswoman Margaret Kurtz said.
It’s all right
Dennis from Las Vegas wanted to know whether it’s legal for him to pass slower vehicles to the right when traveling on a multi-lane road.
Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Buratczuk said that passing on the right is perfectly legal, as long as it’s safe to make the move. However, you can’t leave the road or travel in the shoulder.
“Slower-moving traffic should always travel in the right lane. However, we all know that doesn’t happen all the time,” Buratczuk said. “Drivers going below the posted speed limit can receive a ticket for impeding the flow of traffic if they are causing traffic to back up.”
New signal needed
Dave noticed a fairly new traffic light at Racetrack Road and Blue Lantern Drive in Henderson, and he wanted to know why it was installed. By his description, Blue Lantern is a narrow street that’s traveled by very few cars.
Henderson city spokeswoman Kim Becker said Blue Lantern serves large residential communities on either side of Racetrack Road, and it provides access to Sue Morrow Elementary School. Traffic signals must meet at least one of the nine standards set by the Federal Highway Administration. After some studies, the city determined that a signal is needed here, Becker said.
Left arrow wanted
Traffic is getting pretty gnarly at Harmon Avenue and Pecos Road on the east end of the valley, prompting Mary from Las Vegas to ask whether Clark County officials plan to install left-turn arrows for the signals at this intersection.
“It’s getting difficult for more than two cars to turn left onto Pecos during rush hour,” Mary said.
There are plans to install left-turn signals, but it’s unclear when that might happen, county spokesman Dan Kulin said. The county needs to acquire additional right-of-way privileges at this intersection in order to make this improvement.
Rough on Range
Pat wanted to know when some rough spots will be fixed along Range Road at both the 215 Beltway interchange and at the intersection with El Campo Grande in North Las Vegas.
There’s no clear plan, but improvements might be included in an upcoming NDOT project to improve the area around Interstate 15 and the 215 Beltway, North Las Vegas city spokeswoman Delen Goldberg said.
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ROAD WORK AHEAD
— The ramp connecting northbound Interstate 15 to U.S. Highway 95 will be closed 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily until Friday. Crews are installing rebar cages on a new flyover ramp.
— The northbound U.S. Highway 95 exit ramp to Rancho Drive will be closed from Thursday to June 21 for work associated with Project Neon.
— Martin Luther King Boulevard is closed between Oakey Boulevard and Interstate 15 through July. Crews are installing drainage boxes.
— Oakey Boulevard is closed between Main and Commerce streets through July. Crews are installing underground utilities and storm drain infrastructure.
— U.S. Highway 95 will be restricted between Rancho Road and just east of Interstate 15 through January 2018. Crews are building a new flyover ramp for high-occupancy vehicles as part of Project Neon.
— Sections of Bonneville Avenue, Charleston Boulevard, Grand Central Parkway and Martin Luther King Boulevard will have closed or disrupted lanes surrounding the Spaghetti Bowl as crews work on Project Neon through July 2018.
— Northbound U.S. Highway 95 will be reduced to a single lane between Craig Road and the 215 Beltway through 5 a.m. Friday. Crews are building a new flyover bridge.
— Southbound U.S. Highway 95 will be reduced to a single lane between Durango Drive and the 215 Beltway through 5 a.m. Friday. Crews are building a new flyover bridge.
— Eastern Avenue onramps and offramps to the 215 Beltway will alternately close for overnight work through May 6. The ramps are being repaved.
— Warm Springs Road onramp to westbound 215 Beltway will be closed until late May. Crews are working on a new bridge for the Airport Connector.
— Warm Springs Road offramp from the eastbound 215 Beltway will be closed through June. Crews are building a new bridge over the highway.
— Southbound Durango Road will be restricted between Wigwam Avenue and Blue Diamond Road from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through Friday. Crews are doing sewer work.
— Rainbow Boulevard will be restricted in each direction between Hacienda Avenue and Sunset Road from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. until mid-June. Crews are repaving the road and adding a traffic lane.
— Summerlin Parkway’s westbound lanes will be restricted between Buffalo Drive and Rampart Boulevard through July. Crews are building a new auxiliary lane and making other improvements.
— The 13-mile scenic route at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area will be repaved in one-mile increments through summer.
The average gasoline price Friday in the Las Vegas Valley was $2.68 per gallon. It was $2.70 in Nevada. The national average of $2.42 is up 1 cent from a week ago, up 13 cents from a month ago and up 31 cents from a year ago.