It seems like forever since orange cones have popped up along a mile-long stretch of Washington Avenue, making for some pretty nasty traffic jams.
The torn-up conditions aren’t expected to end anytime soon.
Several of you have asked why, exactly, construction crews have taken over the stretch of Washington, creating traffic jams as motorists navigate massive lane restrictions between Rancho Drive and Martin Luther King Boulevard in west Las Vegas.
Don’t blame it on Project Neon and the folks at the Nevada Department of Transportation.
The city of Las Vegas started digging into the street last summer to install a large storm drain that will connect to existing flood control facilities, city spokeswoman Margaret Kurtz said.
The project is about 60 percent complete, with the installation of a reinforced concrete box culvert between Martin Luther King and Tonopah Drive, Kurtz said. Plans also call for installation of 1,950 feet of reinforced concrete pipe, repair of existing manholes and replacing sewer and water lines running through the area.
Of course, we’ll mostly notice a freshly resurfaced and restriped Washington Avenue, with a new set of curbs, gutters, sidewalks and bicycle lanes running on each side of the street by the time work wraps up in August.
The project, pegged at more than $10 million, is funded by the county’s fuel revenue index money, Kurtz said.
Coleen from Summerlin noticed a problem with the traffic signal for drivers on southbound Anasazi Drive wanting to make a left turn onto eastbound Hualapai Way.
“The light does not change unless cross traffic is approaching,” Coleen said. “My husband leaves for work at 4 a.m. and can sit at the intersection for 10 or 20 minutes.”
Kurtz said drivers should wait no more than a couple of minutes at an intersection, and asked city crews to immediately fix the signal.
Ellen from northwest Las Vegas said she usually heads to work by exiting northbound U.S. Highway 95 at Buffalo Drive. But during the commute home, she can’t find a way to enter the highway at Buffalo.
“Why is there no entrance to 95 south at Buffalo?” Ellen asked.
Turns out there is, technically, a Buffalo onramp to southbound U.S. 95 — it’s just a little tricky to find.
The onramp can be accessed from Buffalo Road by traveling to Sky Pointe Drive, then turning west onto the 215 Beltway to a signalized intersection leading to the highway, NDOT spokesman Tony Illia said.
“We have several projects planned and underway aimed at improving mobility and access along the northwest U.S. Highway 95 corridor,” Illia said.
Sun City speeders
John from Sun City MacDonald Ranch noticed drivers are speeding along Horizon Ridge Parkway, between Green Valley Parkway and Valle Verde Drive in Henderson.
“It has a posted speed limit of 35 mph, but few drivers adhere to this and go 45 mph or above,” John wrote in an email to the Road Warrior. “Could the city install a large, blinking 35 mph sign around here?”
Kathleen Richards, a spokeswoman for the city of Henderson, noted that the speed limit changes from 45 to 35 mph for the short section of Horizon Ridge between Green Valley and Valley Verde. Crash data will be reviewed to determine whether the speed limit poses any problems, and city staffers will make sure the existing signs are visible.
“The suggested flashing signs are certainly an option, and the city will investigate possible locations for them,” Richards said.
Bob from North Las Vegas noticed that westbound Lone Mountain Road is “very uneven” between Allen Lane and Valley Drive — complete with a sinkhole near Willis Street.
North Las Vegas city spokeswoman Delen Goldberg said road improvements are being designed right now for a stretch of Lone Mountain, between Decatur Boulevard and Losee Road. However, construction isn’t scheduled to begin until next year.
In the meantime, Goldberg said crews from the city’s Public Works Department will examine the road to determine whether any immediate work needs to be done.
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Road work ahead
— The Sahara Avenue offramp from southbound Interstate 15 is closed from 9 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday.
— The ramp linking northbound U.S. Highway 95 to southbound Interstate 15 is closed from 9 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday, and again from 9 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Thursday.
— The ramps linking northbound Interstate 15 to both the northbound and southbound U.S. Highway 95 will be closed from 9 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday.
— The D Street offramp from northbound Interstate 15 will be closed from 9 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday.
— The Charleston Boulevard onramps to southbound Interstate 15 is closed until mid-October. Crews are rebuilding the intersection.
— The right lane on northbound Interstate 15 at Flamingo Road is closed until 6 a.m. April 6. Crews are restriping the road and installing signs.
— The outside lane of southbound Interstate 15 is closed between Sahara Avenue and Flamingo Road through late April. Crews are erecting traffic management signs.
— The outside lane of northbound Interstate 15 will close between Flamingo and Desert Inn roads from March to late April. Crews are erecting traffic management signs.
— Main Street is restricted between Bonneville Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard through May. Crews are working on a storm drain.
— The D Street onramp to southbound Interstate 15 is closed through mid-July. Crews are working in Project Neon.
— 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.
— Interstate 15 will be narrowed in both directions between Sahara Avenue and D Street until Nov. 20. Crews are widening the freeway.
— The ramp connecting southbound U.S. Highway 95 to southbound I-15 will be reduced to one lane and detoured through Nov. 20. Crews are widening I-15.
— The ramp linking southbound U.S. 95 to northbound I-15 is closed through Nov. 20. Crews are widening I-15.
— The Martin Luther King Boulevard onramp to southbound U.S. Highway 95 is closed until early 2019. Crews are building a high-occupancy flyover ramp.
— Gass Avenue will be restricted between Las Vegas and Charleston Boulevards through March 2019. Crews are making pedestrians and bicycle improvements.
— Both directions of U.S. Highway 95 are narrowed to a single lane between Skye Canyon Park and Paiute drives through July 12. Crews are building a new interchange bridge.
— Center Street is restricted between Burkholder Boulevard and Lake Mead Parkway through June. Crews are making various road improvements.
North Las Vegas
— Both directions of Interstate 15 will be narrowed to a single lane for a two-mile stretch near U.S. Highway 93 from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly through March 15. Crews are rebuilding the freeway interchange.
— Las Vegas Boulevard will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Nellis Boulevard and Range Road through March 30. Crews are installing a sewer pipeline.
— U.S. Highway 93 is restricted between Interstate 15 and Apex Power Parkway through June. Crews are widening the highway and upgrading an interchange.
— Nellis Boulevard is restricted between Cheyenne Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays through July. Crews are installing sewer pipes.
The average gasoline price Friday in the Las Vegas Valley was $2.75 per gallon. It was $2.78 in Nevada. The national average of $2.53 is up 2 cents from a week ago, down 7 cents from a month ago and up 21 cents from a year ago.