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Exiting 215 Beltway to Downtown Summerlin should get easier

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.

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

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