Interchange work about to go to bid

This week readers want to know whether there are any plans to extend Sunset Road to Lake Las Vegas, why the Road Warrior never should criticize someone for misspelling but can’t resist just this once, and why there are cameras on traffic signals. And we revisit the “CANE” license plate controversy.

Renee wants to know whether there are any plans to extend Sunset Road to Lake Las Vegas.

Henderson and Lake Las Vegas officials recognize the need for a secondary entrance to the swanky community. But it’s not going to come from Sunset Road.

Construction on a new interchange on U.S. Highway 95 at Galleria Drive is about to go to bid and the plan is to have that road built east to Lake Las Vegas, said Ed McGuire, quality control manager for the Henderson public works department.

Galleria would connect to Athens Avenue and continue to Lake Las Vegas. It’s unclear if Athens would retain its name or be changed, McGuire said.

There’s more good news from Henderson. The reconstruction of Sunset from U.S. 95 to Mountain Vista Street is set to wrap up by Thanksgiving and should give shoppers at the Galleria Mall an easier commute on Black Friday, McGuire said.

Ro Keller writes: While driving west on the Las Vegas Beltway a week or so ago, I noticed that the highway sign for Valle Verde Drive was spelled Valley Verde, instead of Valle Verde. The sign on the right-hand side of the highway has it spelled correctly, but the one hanging above the highway after Stephanie Street has it spelled incorrectly. How can this happen? Will this be fixed?

Oops. I informed the Clark County public works department of the mistake, but can’t resist reminding everyone that Valle Verde — which we all know is Spanish for overpriced, cheaply constructed homes, or Green Valley, depending on the dialect — doesn’t have a y at the end of valle.

I didn’t hear back from the Clark County public works department on when it will be fixed, but I’d wager it will be soon.

To be fair, I’m prone to the occasional misspelling. I once asked my father how to spell “off.” Was it “of” or “off” or “hoff?”

He gave me his patented answer: “Go look it up.”

What’s this glass wall and why is there a nearby pile rocks just begging to be hurled?

A caller wants to know why there are cameras on traffic signals. Didn’t the Legislature vote down the measure that would allow law enforcement to use cameras to ticket red-light runners?

The cameras drivers see on top of traffic signals more often than not aren’t cameras, they are sensors that control traffic signals. And yes, the Legislature did reject a bill that would have allowed law enforcement agencies to equip traffic lights with “red-light” cameras that could record and ticket red-light runners.

Brian Hoeft, interim director of the Freeway and Arterial System of Transportation, or FAST, said local engineers have in the past few years switched from ground sensors to video detection devices.

Among the positives for the video sensors: If there is a mechanical problem, the road doesn’t have to be dug up to fix it, Hoeft said.

Negatives include some issues with glare from the sun, making it difficult at certain times of day for the sensors to detect vehicles, Hoeft said. When that happens, the sensors go into fail-safe mode and run through every cycle of the traffic signal, a development that can cause a slower commute for drivers.

FAST does operate video feeds of intersections and highways to monitor traffic flow, not to ticket drivers. You can watch video in real time on the Internet at

Follow-up: Do y’all (I lived in Louisiana for a few years) remember Dara Goldsmith, the University of Miami graduate who had the personalized license plate “CANE” to honor her alma mater? The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles had told her to turn the plates in because it was supposedly an obvious reference to cocaine.

Well, Dara has appealed that decision, but has yet to get her appeal heard. Twice now, DMV officials have cancelled the hearing. First because a witness for the state was ill. The second time because the judge had a family medical emergency.

DMV spokesman Tom Jacobs gave assurances that it’s all legit, but it is starting to sound like some of the excuses I used to tell my philosophy professor back at Fairfield University. For that matter, I probably told similar excuses to most of my professors. It’s a wonder I ever graduated.

My point? DMV should give Dara her day in court, and soon.

Happy Thanksgiving and drive safe. Gobble-gobble.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at or (702) 387-2904.

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