State and local transportation officials are constantly building roads to keep up with the population boom across the Las Vegas Valley.
Construction on the latest project begins Nov. 30 in the south end of the valley, where the Nevada Department of Transportation will build a $33.7 million freeway interchange for Interstate 15 at Starr Avenue.
A few readers recently submitted questions asking why a freeway interchange is needed here.
The interchange is aimed at easing traffic congestion in Henderson by filling a missing link in Starr between Las Vegas Boulevard and Dean Martin Drive, NDOT spokesman Tony Illia said.
Nestled one mile south of the Cactus Avenue exit and more than a mile north of St. Rose Parkway, the Starr Avenue interchange will also provide improved freeway access for nearby residents and businesses.
Starr Avenue will run six lanes with landscaped medians, bicycle lanes and sidewalks, Illia said. Plans also call for the state to add crosswalks, lights, traffic signals and drainage improvements.
Las Vegas Paving will complete the work under a contract awarded last month by NDOT’s board of directors. The interchange, set to open by late next year, is funded by some of Henderson’s allocation of money generated from a fuel revenue index tax Clark County voters approved last year.
Yellow is advisory
Jim from Las Vegas wanted to know whether motorists are expected to stay stopped for walkers who are within a signalized pedestrian crossing when the yellow lights aren’t flashing.
“I always thought that was the case, even if there are no pedestrians in the crosswalk,” Jim said in an email to the Road Warrior. “I have noticed that many motorists do not remain stopped, and the drivers behind me get impatient and honk their horns when I stop.”
Of course, you should always stop when you see anyone crossing the street. That being said, the yellow lights are considered to be “advisory” to alert motorists that a walker is attempting to cross, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Buratczuk said.
“Those lights have nothing to do with making vehicles stop and stay stopped — they are simply warning lights,” Buratczuk said.
In turn, there is nothing within Nevada law that requires walkers to activate the advisory yellow lights, he said.
As a primer, Buratczuk reminds that, if a pedestrian is walking toward your vehicle, then you must stop. Once the pedestrian passes your vehicle, drivers can proceed when it’s safe.
No change at this signal
Nancy from North Las Vegas wanted to know whether a flashing left-turn yellow light could be added to the traffic signal on eastbound Cheyenne Avenue, headed to northbound Valley Drive. Currently, motorists can only turn on a green arrow. This situation creates a long line of cars waiting for each cycle.
“A flashing yellow light would be extremely helpful and save a lot of gas from cars sitting at the light for a left turn for extended times, especially when there are few or no oncoming vehicles,” Nancy said.
Delen Goldberg, a spokeswoman for the city of North Las Vegas, said there are no plans to add a flashing yellow arrow for this signal.
“The existing controller will not support it, and a new controller would be unjustifiably costly,” Goldberg said.
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Road work ahead
— U.S. Highway 95 will close in both directions at Martin Luther King Boulevard will close from 10 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday. Crews are installing traffic management signs.
— Martin Luther King will close between Bonanza Road and Mineral Avenue from 7 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday. Crews are installing traffic management signs.
— The Interstate 15 offramps to Martin Luther King Boulevard from 8 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday. Crews are installing traffic management signs.
— The U.S. 95 offramps to Martin Luther King Boulevard from 8 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday. Crews are installing traffic management signs.
— The southbound I-15 ramp to northbound U.S. 95 from 8 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday. Crews are installing traffic management signs.
— The Rancho Drive onramp to southbound U.S. 95 from 8 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday. Crews are installing traffic management signs.
— Washington Avenue is restricted between Rainbow and Decatur boulevards from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays through first week of December. Crews are laying new pavement and adding medians.
— Main Street is restricted between Fremont Street and Ogden Avenue through Dec. 20. Crews are demolishing a building.
— Ninth Street is closed between Carson and Main streets through Dec. 31. Crews are installing water and sewer lines.
— U.S. Highway 95 is 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.
— The Martin Luther King Boulevard onramp to northbound Interstate 15 is closed through January 2018. Crews are building a carpool ramp.
— The ramp connecting southbound U.S. Highway 95 to northbound Interstate 15 is closed through January 2018. Crews are building a carpool ramp.
— Main Street is restricted between Bonneville Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard through May 2018. Crews are working on a storm drain.
— 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.
— Grand Teton Drive is restricted between El Capitan Way and Buffalo Drive from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays through early January. Crews are making road improvements.
— Wigwam Parkway will be intermittently closed in both directions at Gibson Road through the end of December. Crews are installing a new traffic signal and making sidewalk improvements.
— Center Street is restricted between Burkholder Boulevard and Lake Mead Parkway through June 2018. Crews are making various road improvements.
North Las Vegas
— Nellis Boulevard is restricted between Cheyenne Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays through July 2018. Crews are installing sewer pipes.
The average gasoline price Friday in the Las Vegas Valley was $2.69 per gallon. It was $2.73 in Nevada. The national average of $2.56 is up 4 cents from a week ago, up 7 cents from a month ago and up 36 cents from a year ago.