Drivers headed to the Red Rock Resort and Downtown Summerlin are likely familiar with the pain of exiting the northbound 215 Beltway to turn right at Charleston Boulevard.
Jockeying for the right lane often leads to near-accidents, bad merging techniques and backups stretching about a quarter-mile down the highway.
Back in May, I wrote a story that plans were being developed to fix this problem by repainting the exit lanes to accommodate two right-turn lanes onto eastbound Charleston, rather than the current single lane. The exit’s two left-turns will remain, while the center lane is expected to give drivers an option to turn left or continue driving straight back onto the Beltway.
Some of you have asked for an update: It appears we might be seeing some progress soon, according to Tom Warden, senior vice president at The Howard Hughes Corp., which developed Summerlin.
Warden said his company will put out a call for bids this week from construction companies interested in fixing up this log-jammed exit.
Once a deal is awarded, “hopefully by the end of September,” Warden said, the contractor will apply for a traffic control plan to complete the work in about six weeks with Clark County, the city of Las Vegas and the Nevada Department of Transportation.
Clark County oversees the Beltway, while the city operates the traffic signal for the exit.
The Hughes Corp. owns the right-of way access, and NDOT maintains Charleston. NDOT issued a permit that requires the Hughes Corp. to complete construction by the end of February.
The work requires a little more than painting some new lanes at the exit ramp. NDOT wants the corporation to remove an old layer of asphalt, mill the ramp and lay new asphalt. An estimated cost for the project was not disclosed.
If all goes according to plan, it appears the Charleston exit will be fixed just in time to accommodate the hordes of Christmas shoppers clamoring to get to the Downtown Summerlin outdoor mall.
Uneven for now
Stan from Las Vegas noticed some height differences along a section of Las Vegas Boulevard that’s undergoing construction between Silverado Ranch Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway.
“Will the road levels be the same height?” Stan asked in an email to the Road Warrior.
Crews are widening the road to three lanes in each direction while also adding median islands, signs and road striping along this stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard, Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin said. Plans also call for installing a sewer line.
“The lanes will be at the same height when it is finished,” Kulin said.
Construction is ongoing
Brenda from Las Vegas said that work appears to be completed on the eastbound 215 Beltway at Durango Drive, and wanted to know when the county plans to remove signs warning drivers to slow down to 45 mph through the construction zone.
Kulin said construction is not yet complete, so you still need to slow down through this area. Work is expected to wrap up in about a year.
Improvements on Jones
Dale from Las Vegas said he approached a few survey crew members wearing baseball caps emblazoned with “NDOT,” presumably for the Nevada Department of Transportation. Dale overheard a discussion about rebuilding the area around Jones Boulevard and U.S. Highway 95, but wanted to know a little more about what’s planned.
A $6.5 million project calls for rebuilding a 2½-mile stretch of Jones between U.S. 95 and Smoke Creek Road in 2020, NDOT spokesman Tony Illia said. It will take about a year to complete the work, which includes improvements that will make the sidewalk accessible to wheelchairs.
Signal not a problem
Al from Summerlin said he believes the traffic signal timing at Anasazi Drive and Summerlin Parkway is causing accidents, and wanted to know whether adjustments could be made.
Las Vegas city spokeswoman Margaret Kurtz said that traffic engineers are not aware of any problems with crashes at this intersection, but promised to take a look.
“If a discernible trend is identified, we will not hesitate to make changes to the signal phasing,” Kurtz said.
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Road work ahead
— Wall Street will permanently close on Tuesday between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Western Avenue.
— The carpool lane for southbound U.S. Highway 95 is closed between Decatur Boulevard and Rancho Drive through mid-September. Crews are erecting traffic management signs.
— Martin Luther King Boulevard offramp from northbound U.S. Highway 95 is closed through mid-September. Crews are rebuilding the ramp.
— Martin Luther King Boulevard onramp to southbound U.S. Highway 95 is closed through mid-September. Crews are building a carpool ramp.
— Washington Avenue is restricted between Robin Street and Rancho Drive through Oct. 19. Crews are working on a channel project.
— 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.
— Eastern Avenue is restricted between Flamingo Road and Tompkins Avenue through Sept. 29. Crews are doing sewer work.
— Fort Apache Road is restricted between Sunset and Post roads through Oct. 31. Crews are doing sewer work.
— Sunset Road is restricted between Fort Apache Road and Ivesdale Street through Oct. 31. Crews are doing sewer work.
— Appaloosa Road is restricted between Wagonwheel Drive and Rawhide Drive through late October. Crews are installing a storm drain.
— Center Street is restricted between Burkholder Boulevard and Lake Mead Parkway through June 2018. Crews are making various road improvements.
North Las Vegas
— Southbound Las Vegas Boulevard will be closed between Pecos Road and Van der Meer Street from 9 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday. Crews are moving concrete barrier walls.
— Southbound Las Vegas Boulevard will be closed between Evans and Carey avenues from 9 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday. Crews are moving concrete barrier walls.
— 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 $2.62 per gallon. It was $2.69 in Nevada. The national average of $2.53 is up 18 cents from a week ago, up 21 cents from a month ago and up 32 cents from a year ago.