Get ready to fly over to Summerlin

Transportation leaders hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning to celebrate the completion of the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) flyover between the Summerlin Parkway and U.S. Highway 95, which will open to traffic Monday. In light of the opening, we’ll take this opportunity to answer some questions readers have had about the flyover as well as HOV lanes in general.

Will anybody be allowed to use the bridge during the hours when the HOV lanes are not enforced?

Yes. The restricted lanes along U.S. 95 are enforced from 6 until 10 a.m. and 2 until 7 p.m. Those same hours will apply to the bridge linking Summerlin and the highway. Unlike some cities, which enforce the lanes around the clock or close them during non-commuter hours, the Nevada Department of Transportation will permit the lanes and flyover to be used as regular lanes during off-peak times.

Is it permissible to restrict lanes of a highway built with taxpayer money?

This question has come up when toll roads are discussed, but that’s a bit more controversial because the public has paid for the construction of a freeway and then must pay again to use the road.

In federal acts intended to reduce pollution and make highways more efficient, state agencies were encouraged to implement restricted lanes such as the high-occupancy vehicle lanes. Because of the acts passed in the early 1990s, state agencies such as the Department of Transportation have the ability to place restrictions on public roads.

The state agency, with the help of the Federal Highway Administration, spent $27 million on the Summerlin Parkway HOV flyover.

The HOV lanes are often empty, so are they really that effective?

They appear to be empty because the cars are zipping past so quickly as you idle away in your sweltering vehicle stuck in traffic. Those lanes actually might be busier, but the cars are moving at a consistent pace.

Actually, the Department of Transportation acknowledges that the HOV lanes on U.S. 95 are lightly traveled compared with most cities because the designated lanes are so short, it’s not worth the driver’s while to merge all the way across the freeway to enter them only to have to merge back to the right to exit the highway.

"There is not that much congestion in that area, so there is no sense in weaving over and weaving back," said John Terry, the department’s project manager.

So what is the solution if nobody is taking advantage of the HOV lanes?

Some of you I’m sure would like to see them go away, but that is not going to happen. I hesitate to break this news to you, but eventually, years down the road, those express lanes along Interstate 15? Yes, those will be converted to HOV lanes. I know, I know, motorists around these parts, once they became accustomed to the express lanes, embraced them.

Ultimately – no earlier than two years – they will be stripped away. The Department of Transportation’s long-term plans are to have two HOV lanes in each direction from as far north as the Interstate 215/U.S. 95 interchange to the I-15/I-215 interchange. There will then be one lane in each direction all the way south to around Sloan. There will be another HOV flyover at the Spaghetti Bowl.

By October, we should see these lanes between Ann Road and Rancho Drive and the Summerlin Parkway interchange to Rampart Boulevard.

How many motorists does the Department of Transportation expect to use this flyover?

Terry said studies show that between 800 and 1,500 vehicles per hour will use the lanes. During the early stages – before the lanes tie into I-15 – the agency expects the figures to be at the lower end of that range.

Are motorcycles allowed to use HOV lanes?

Yes, they are permitted. Studies show that it is much safer to allow motorcyclists to use the restricted lanes than for them to be in stop-and-go situations in the general purpose lanes.

How about tractor-trailers?

No, though the bridge was designed and built to handle the weight of a tractor-trailer, they are not permitted to use the HOV lanes or the bridge no matter how many passengers are in the trucks. That’s because they impede traffic flow. Trucks will, however, be permitted to use the flyover during the hours the HOV lanes are not enforced.

Of course, the Regional Transportation Commission’s vehicles will be allowed on the bridge and in the lanes because the flyover is a huge part of the agency’s overall express transit plans.

And what about electric or hybrid vehicles?

Not at this time. Some states allow "green" vehicles to use restricted lanes as a perk to owning environmentally friendly cars. Terry said there has been some discussion by legislators in Carson City about changing the rules, but as of now, only vehicles with two or more passengers – including the driver – can drive in the lanes.

Contact reporter Adrienne Packer at or 702-387-2904.

UNLV Surgeon Performs Successful Rare Pancreas Surgery
Las Vegas resident Mary Duda underwent a pancreatoduodenectomy, or Whipple procedure, for her pancreatic cancer. While the grandmother of 19 recovered, her doctors say she's one of the lucky ones. Pancreatic surgery can be risky and has a high morbidity rate. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Las Vegas police explorer sentenced to 25 years to life in prison
Former Las Vegas police explorer Joshua Honea sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for sexual assault of a minor, but was allowed to remain free on bail pending appeal. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Fans Line Up to Grab Their Conference Champions Gear
Golden Knights fans lined up at City National Arena Monday to snap up Conference Champions gear and other memorabilia the day after the Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup Conference Finals. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas-Review Journal)
Las Vegas shooting survivor has surprise reunion
Oct. 1 mass shooting survivors Taylor Stovall and Parker Gabel meet for the first time since Gabel helped the injured Stovall to an ambulance the night of the shooting. Stovall, then 17, was shot in the arm. They met Friday at the Tropicana.
Hawaii volcano presser
Talmadge Magno of Hawaii Civil Defense gives an update on the Kilauea volcano
Same-Sex Weddings on the Rise in Las Vegas
Allie and Tara Shima finally tied the knot. They've been together for five years and have both been married before. This time, they wanted something simple, quick and cheap, but it still had to feel special. The couple chose Las Vegas. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Courtyard Homeless Resource Center begins building in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Ward 3 Councilman Bob Coffin kicked off the demolition of buildings where the Courtyard Homeless Resource Center will be built. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
"Yanny" or "Laurel" hearing test has gone viral
'Yanny' or 'Laurel?' This Hearing Test Has Gone Viral This hearing test has gone viral on social media with some hearing "Yanny" while others swear hearing "Laurel." The voice is actually saying "Laurel," but the pitch was changed, causing some to hear "Yanny."
LVMPD Briefs on Year's Sixth Officer-Involved Shooting
Las Vegas police have identified the officer who shot a shovel-wielding woman on Saturday as 23-year-old Ondre Wills.
Police release body camera footage of shovel-wielding woman
Las Vegas police identified the woman they said threatened neighbors with a skillet Saturday night. Officer Ondre Wills, 23, shot at Sommer Richards, 34, multiple times on Big Sur Drive, near Nellis Boulevard and Desert Inn Road. Police responded to the area after receiving reports that the woman was armed with a shovel. Police said the woman chased neighbors and a security guard. Wills got between Richards and the others and repeatedly told her to drop the shovel. The woman instead turned and moved toward a person who was standing nearby before the officer fired shots. Police said she bit another officer as he attempted to render aid. Richards remains in serious but stable condition.
College of Southern Nevada Graduates 2017-18 Class
The College of Southern Nevada's graduation ceremony was held at the Thomas & Mack Center Monday. The 2017-18 class was the institution's largest in history. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro looking for suspect in bank robbery.
On Jan. 22, a man robbed a bank in the 8700 block of West Sahara Avenue.
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee at opening of U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, at opening ceremony of U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, speaks about the violence in Gaza. (Debra J. Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Supreme Court strikes down law banning sports betting outside Nevada
The Supreme Court has overturned a federal ban on sports gambling. States other than Nevada will be allowed to provide bookmaking and betting at casinos and race tracks. Justice Samuel Alito said Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, “each State is free to act on its own.” The vote was 6-3. One research firm estimates that 32 states will likely offer sports betting within five years.
Westcare Clinic Crucial to Las Vegan's Addiction Recovery
Christian Hunt, 21, was sent to Westcare in September after he ended up on drugs and in the hospital. If it weren't for the nonprofit's Community Triage Center, Hunt said he would still be using drugs. Instead, he's been sober for six months, and stopped using methamphetamines seven months ago. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Foundation Provides Full Rides for Clark County Students
Somewhere along the banks of the Ohio River in Owensboro, Kentucky, a group of students from Sin City are pursuing a higher education. Feature on the 38 Clark County students that the Rogers Foundation has given full rides to for Kentucky Wesleyan College. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Flames engulf house in Henderson
Clark County firefighters battled a house fire early Friday morning in Henderson. The house, located near Volunteer Boulevard and Executive Airport Drive, was fully engulfed in flames about 2 a.m. Shifting winds sent massive plumes of smoke across the southern Las Vegas Valley sky. As of 3 a.m. , the cause of the fire was not known and no injuries were reported.
Harvey Weinstein’s Estranged Wife Speaks Out for First Time
Harvey Weinstein’s Estranged Wife Speaks Out for First Time Georgina Chapman was profiled for 'Vogue’s' June issue, speaking on her estranged husband for the first time since he was accused of sexual assault in October. Georgina Chapman, to Vogue Georgina Chapman, to Vogue Chapman, who has two children with Weinstein, also said she has been seeing a therapist and that has helped her move forward. Georgina Chapman, to Vogue Georgina Chapman, to Vogue Read the full profile on Chapman in Vogue’s June issue or online at
Bark-Andre Furry the dog is a Vegas Golden Knights hockey fan
The furriest fan of the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights is growing into a social media sensation. Bark-Andre Furry the Jack Russell terrier has thousands of followers on Twitter and Instagram. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Suspect Sought In Robbery Attempt
Attorney Gloria Allred on case against Benjamin Sparks
Attorney Gloria Allred is representing the victim in a "sex slave" case against GOP political consultant Benjamin Sparks.
2018 Las Vegas Review-Journal High School Journalism Awards winners
Some winners of the 2018 Las Vegas Review-Journal High School Journalism Awards receive their awards.
Weather Balloon Collects Key Data
Meteorologist Chelsea Kryston discusses the Las Vegas National Weather Service's balloon carrying a radiosonde that collects temperature, humidity and pressure readings.
'Avengers: Infinity War' to Cross $1 Billion Mark
'Avengers: Infinity War' to Cross $1 Billion Mark And it will have done so faster than any other film in history. The Anthony and Joe Russo directed film has only been in theaters for eight days since its Apr. 27 release, and it’s already raked in $905.1 million at the worldwide box office, including $338.4 million in North America. It will reach the milestone faster than ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ which took 12 days to cross over the $1 billion threshold. ‘Infinity War’ is the 34th film to cross $1 billion at the global box office, not accounting for inflation.
Henderson Residents Fighting Their HOA
Sun City Anthem residents Tim Stebbins and Bob Frank were arrested by the Henderson Police Department for filing a false report of a crime after they claimed their HOA was hiding surplus assessments in a secret slush fund. Nearly a decade later, Frank is still trying to clear his name. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Professor Retiring After 50 Years
Professor Bernard Malamud reflects on his 50 years teaching economics at UNLV and what it's been like watching to school and the city grow.
Donald Trump recognizes Jon Ponder of Hope for Prisoners
Former bank robber Jon Ponder, now CEO of Hope for Prisoners, is recognized by President Donald Trump at the White House Rose Garden. Debra J. Saunders/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Motorcyclist suffers severe head injury
A crash early Friday morning has left a motorcyclist hospitalized with a serious head injury, according to Las Vegas police. The crash occurred in the southwest valley at Durango Drive and the 215 Beltway, and was reported around 1:30 a.m. Police are investigating and one lane of the eastbound 215 offramp has been shut down.
Woman stabbed in the stomach
Las Vegas police are looking for the suspect who stabbed a woman in the stomach during a street robbery Friday morning in the central valley. The 37-year-old woman walked into the 7-Eleven at 531 E. Sahara Ave., around 1:30 a.m. with a wound to her abdomen, according to police. She was taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive her wound. The stabber remains at-large.
Trump Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Trump Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize Eighteen House members sent a letter to the Nobel Committee in Norway, recommending President Donald Trump for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. The letter was signed by Rep. Luke Messer and other GOP members, according to the New York Post. Letter to Nobel Committee This week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Trump deserved the nomination, as well, for his efforts to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons. Trump is set to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un soon.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like