This week readers want to know about construction on Craig Road west of Interstate 15 and whether they will ever build a pedestrian bridge over Town Center Drive near the Las Vegas Beltway. And readers defend their vanity plates, and the Road Warrior learns what one anarchist really thinks of traffic laws.
William Schlitz writes: I was wondering what was up with Craig west of the I-15 interchange? It seems out of nowhere they started working on the road and they have a digital sign with a date of construction through 2009.
Well William, you can be thankful that at least the digital sign is accurate. The work currently being done is a smaller project associated with major work planned for Craig and I-15.
The Nevada Department of Transportation is building a bridge over the very active railroad tracks on Craig. For many folks who live in North Las Vegas, this is welcome as trains traversing the busy road often bring traffic on Craig to a halt several times a day.
Frehner Construction is doing the work for $34 million, and it should be finished midway through 2009.
But that isn’t all that’s being done at the Craig-I-15 interchange. As part of the I-15 north widening project, the interchange will be rebuilt to add lanes. The project will add lanes to I-15 also and repair or redo the interchanges north of the Spaghetti Bowl.
The widening project is already partially under way and thankfully is supposed to only take three years.
Norm Kresge asks: A number of years ago, it was announced there would be a pedestrian/bicycle bridge across Town Center Drive at the Las Vegas Beltway near R.C. Willey. The ramps are there, but no bridge has been built. Are there any firm plans at this time to build the bridge?
This is one of those cases where the question becomes more interesting because of the answer.
Bobby Shelton, spokesman for Clark County Public Works, said the county was in the midst of building the pedestrian-bicycle bridge a few years back as part of a Town Center interchange project when they got a call from Howard Hughes Corp.
"We were asked by the Howard Hughes folks to look at a redesign of the pedestrian/bicycle bridge structure," Shelton said.
"They agreed in principle to fund the redesign of the bridge structure if we would halt our construction of our originally designed structure. Consequently, we halted our construction efforts … but have not heard from the Howard Hughes folks regarding their funding of the redesigned pedestrian/bicycle structure."
Shelton said the plan is still to build the bridge, but when that will happen is up in the air.
Howard Hughes officials said they are close to finishing the redesign and are hoping to meet with Clark County later this month.
Tom Warden, a spokesman for Howard Hughes, said the delay was because the redesign is part of a larger trail system for Summerlin and the original bridge design did not fit with the overall plan.
Warden said he was optimistic that construction could begin in a few months, once all parties agree to the new design.
Hit n’ Run
Some readers were not pleased with my New Year’s resolution for valley drivers — "Enough with the vanity plates" — that appeared in Sunday’s column. Here are some responses I received:
• Skip Harouff wrote: "Mine says ‘POKER.’ Now you know how long I have been in Nevada and they will pry that plate out of my cold, dead hands."
• Unpaid Road Warrior accomplice Ed Vovsi relayed this story: "A Lexus with the vanity plate ‘PRAY4ME’ (cut) across two lanes of traffic on Rampart Boulevard at the last moment to make a right turn onto Lake Mead Boulevard. Right license plate selection, I’d say."
And finally, I recently was driving behind a pickup with an anarchy symbol on the back window. The pickup stopped at a red light. I guess the driver wasn’t exactly living the dream.
It reminded me of a scene in "The Big Lebowski" when the nihilist says, "It isn’t fair."
If you have a question, tip or tirade, call Francis McCabe at (702) 387-2904, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your phone number.ROAD WARRIORMORE COLUMNSDiscuss this column in the eForums!
O’Bannon Drive, between Tenaya Way and Belcasto Street, will be shut down for road improvement work starting Jan. 7 through Jan. 20, the Las Vegas Public Works Department announced. Gas line work on Durango Drive, between Tropical and Centennial parkways, should wrap up Sunday, and road work on Maryland Parkway, between Sahara and Mesquite avenues, should be finished by Jan. 26, the city said. Water line work being done on Las Vegas Boulevard at Fremont Street at night will continue through Jan. 8, the city said.