Installing Proper Channels

This week readers want to know what is up with all that construction on Elkhorn Road west of Jones Boulevard; whether Henderson officials are ever going to turn on the traffic light near Coronado High School; and whether we are all supposed to get new identification cards from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.

A reader asks: What is going on with the construction all along Elkhorn, near Torrey Pines Drive? And when will it be done?

I took a drive up there, and it looks like they are building a missile silo that fires horizontally.

The $7.3 million project comes from the Clark County Regional Flood Control District, spokeswoman Betty Hollister said.

The county is putting in 2,700 feet of underground channels from Rainbow Boulevard to Torrey Pines to improve the existing water flow, Hollister said.

That would explain those enormous, 13-feet-by-9-feet concrete box sections.

Todd Myers, project manager, said the work is just the first phase of a flood control project that will see work done on Decatur Boulevard, from the Las Vegas Beltway to Elkhorn, and from the intersection of Rainbow and Elkhorn north to Grand Teton Drive.

“We’ve had problems up there for several years now,” Myers said. Flood control projects usually work from downstream to upstream, but the flooding at Elkhorn and Rainbow was such an issue that engineers felt it needed to be addressed first, Myers said.

“When it rains in that watershed, the flow sits there for days, and it has to be pumped out. This will give the water someplace to drain,” Myers said.

Once the channels on Elkhorn are put into the ground, a 60-inch storm drain will be attached, which should help temporarily alleviate the flooding at Rainbow and Elkhorn until the remaining channels are built, he said.

The work is expected to be done some time during the first quarter of 2009.

Daniel Crowley writes: Coronado High School has been open for over five years and since day one, a stop light has been needed on the corner of Horizon Ridge Parkway and Coronado Center Drive. Two weeks before the current school year started, traffic lights were being installed at this intersection. But the lights have still have not been turned on. Can you find out what the holdup is?

There’s no holdup, said Ed McGuire, quality control manager for the Henderson Public Works Department.

“Everything’s on schedule,” he said.

And that schedule says the traffic lights will be running by the end of next week, McGuire said.

McGuire ventured to guess that all should be done by Sept. 17 if there are no problems.

Ray Downing writes: Last spring, there was a lot of flap in the press from the motor vehicle department about a new system of drivers licensing renewals, in keeping with federal requirements. It was said additional forms of identifications would be required for renewals, including a birth certificate. This was supposed to start Sept. 1. Well, Sept. 1 is here and gone and I’ve seen nothing to indicate this new procedure has been initiated. What’s the deal?

Ray is referring to the Real ID mess.

The Real ID Act, passed in May 2005, requires all states to issue new licenses with new security features by May 2008. The problem was the Department of Homeland Security didn’t actually tell the states what was needed to comply with the law until January.

Nevada and a whole bunch of other states couldn’t meet that deadline and were granted extensions, which means the Silver State’s current driver’s licenses and identification cards will be accepted on airplanes and at federal buildings through Dec. 31, 2009.

But it might even take longer, said Tom Jacobs, spokesman for the Motor Vehicle Department.

“It’s contingent on a lot of things including the state Legislature agreeing to fund it, and the new president,” Jacobs said.

It might be 2010 before the Real ID Act actually starts having an effect on our lives, he said.

Jacobs said that for now anyone needing to renew their license should follow the same procedure as before, which means going down to your local DMV office in person.

I recommend bringing a book and a snack.

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

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