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Construction to start soon on I-15 interchange at Starr Avenue

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.

Questions and comments should be sent to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com. Please include your phone number. Follow @RJroadwarrior on Twitter.

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