Good News on the Horizon

This week readers want to know when Silverado Ranch Boulevard in the southern valley is going to be extended west of Interstate 15 to Decatur Boulevard, why motorists can’t turn at Donovan Way and Craig Road, and whether a four-wheel drive vehicle is adequate for the snow on Mount Charleston or are snow tires or chains also necessary. And the Road Warrior shares a special holiday wish.

Stan Skaza asks: Are there plans to extend Silverado Ranch all the way through on the west side of I-15? And when will it be done?

While it’s not the three kings bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, the Clark County public works department wishes to bestow an extension of Silverado Ranch to Decatur to southern valley motorists.

Spokesman Bobby Shelton told me the county recently finalized negotiations for some necessary right-of-way needed to construct the extension.

Come January, the county hopes to advertise the project to construction firms, Shelton said.

“Once the project is advertised, it will take 45 to 60 days for the bidding and awarding process to be completed,” Shelton said.

If that goes smoothly, the project will take about six months to complete from the contractor’s start date, Shelton said.

The project will only make initial improvements, including one travel lane in each direction, a continuous center turn lane and a traffic signal at the intersection of Silverado Ranch and Decatur.

Full improvements, including curbs, gutters, sidewalks, and streetlights, will be made at a later date.

John Hoffman asks: Why can’t I turn from Donovan Way onto Craig Road in North Las Vegas?

Donovan Way is a good “back door” road for motorists trying to get to Nellis Air Force Base.

But ever since construction of the Craig Road bridge over the railroad tracks west of I-15, getting to Donovan has been a bit inconvenient.

Rudy Malfabon, the Nevada Department of Transportation’s deputy director for Southern Nevada, said the decision to not allow turns onto or from Donovan Way was made because of resulting traffic backups on Craig Road.

Malfabon explained that at the beginning of the bridge project, back in November 2007, vehicles were allowed to make turns from Donovan. But vehicles were getting stuck in the middle of the intersection tying up traffic in both directions due to the heavy congestion on Craig.

To help ease congestion, a detour was set up that allows traffic on Donovan Way to wrap around and come back to Craig further east, where motorists can make right and left turns.

The good news is that the inconvenience shouldn’t last much longer. The $34 million Craig Road bridge project is expected to finish in about six months.

Patty asks: I recently bought a four-wheel drive vehicle and was wondering if the four-wheel drive was enough to travel through the snow at Mount Charleston or do I need snow tires or chains also?

This is a good question in light of last week’s snow storm in the valley.

In most cases, Trooper Kevin Honea of the Nevada Highway Patrol said, a vehicle with four-wheel drive and heavy duty mud or all-weather tires should not have a problem driving in snow.

Some drivers do get into trouble because having four-wheel drive gives them “a false sense of security,” Honea said.

“We end up having to pull out more four-wheel drive vehicles from the side of the road,” because motorists believe four-wheel drive allows them to drive normally in the worst weather conditions, he said.

Four-wheel drive doesn’t allow a vehicle to stop any faster on ice, Honea said.

Hit n’ Run

Have a happy, fun and safe holidays! And avoid any reindeer-drawn sleds. And for that guy wearing the red suit: Stop running over grandma.

If you have a question, tip or tirade, call Francis McCabe at (702) 387-2904, or send an e-mail to roadwarrior@ Please include your phone number.

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