Those awaiting more access points on the Las Vegas Valley’s high-occupancy vehicle lane system will have to wait a little longer.
Planned restriping work on the HOV lane system has been delayed amid a coronavirus-related shortage of material.
As reported in last week’s Road Warrior column, work was slated for Monday through Thursday on a portion of U.S. Highway 95, but a material supplier experienced a possible case of COVID-19.
“There was a delay getting the saddle brackets for the new HOV signs from the supplier,” said Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Illia. “It seems their business has been affected by a possible exposure-related illness, which has created new challenges for them. As such, they are having to decontaminate the place of business.”
This is the first NDOT road project in Southern Nevada to be put on hold by virus-related issues, Ilia said.
“Although the setback is small, tentatively delaying work by only a week, it could signal other possible future hiccups from vendors supplying project materials,” he said. “However, the department is committed to adapting as needed in order to keep construction progress moving forward.”
The restriping work is now tentatively scheduled to begin May 11, with work expected to wrap up by May 22.
Exact details on the workdays and hours are still to be finalized, Illia said.
The 22-mile HOV system, added as part of the nearly $1 billion Project Neon, runs from Silverado Ranch Boulevard on Interstate 15 in the south to Elkhorn Drive on U.S. 95 in the northwest valley.
Since the introduction of the HOV lanes last summer, motorists have complained regularly about the system — mainly about 24-hour enforcement and the dearth of entry and exit points.
Despite the complaints — the Road Warrior received more of them after last week’s column — Gov. Steve Sisolak said in October that the 24-hour enforcement is unlikely to change.
“It was part of the agreement with the federal government to get the funding to get it (HOV lanes) here,” Sisolak said. “So it’s not just something that you can eliminate suddenly.”
What will change is that, following the brief delay, new access points will be added after the restriping work is completed.
Access points are being added on I-15 northbound — one just south of Sahara Avenue and another between Sahara and Charleston Boulevard. Meanwhile, I-15 southbound will get access points just south of Sahara and just south of the 215 Beltway.
U.S. 95 northbound will get an access point between the Spaghetti Bowl interchange and Martin Luther King Boulevard, along with two at Craig Road — one for northbound traffic and another for southbound traffic.