Nevada Department of Transportation celebrates 100 years of a road well traveled

Starting out with paving a few humble dirt roads, the Nevada Department of Transportation has evolved over the past century into an agency that oversees construction of the state’s busiest highways.

NDOT kicked off its 100th anniversary this month by revamping the agency’s website, where users can click through a series of vintage photos of the people and projects who helped shape the state’s vast system of freeways, roads and bridges.

A 54-page e-book, “Silver Century: Transporting Nevada’s Past, Present and Future,” is expected to be released this week, NDOT spokesman Tony Illia said. The book is free and available for download at www.nevadadot.com/100.

Divided by decade, each chapter highlights major projects, including a trestle bridge that was built over the Humboldt River in 1919, the opening of the Spaghetti Bowl freeway interchange in 1968 and ongoing work for the new Interstate 11 near Boulder City.

“Our centennial milestone led to self-reflection about the department’s past, present and future,” Illia said. “The department designed, built and maintained the state’s infrastructure for a century, helping fuel its growth and prosperity while also connecting families, communities and commerce.”

NDOT officials plan to continue celebrating the centennial through the end of the year by posting “Throwback Thursday” photos and “Fun Fact Friday” trivia questions on the agency’s social media channels.

Nevada residents can also visit the NDOT website to submit their memories about state transportation projects. Your statements might be included with NDOT’s social media posts.

ROADWAY RECTANGLES

When traveling on Interstate 15, a few of you may have noticed six rectangular markings spanning for several miles between the towns of Sloan and Jean.

Tom from Las Vegas wanted to know why they were placed there.

Four years ago, the pavement was embedded with sensors capable of detecting the freeway’s current conditions, Illia said. The sensors, connected by fiber optics, relay that information to a traffic management system in Las Vegas operated by NDOT and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.

If needed, the traffic information is posted on digital signs along I-15.

SEVERENCE OR SEVERANCE?

Joaquin from Centennial Hills noticed a discrepancy with the spelling of a road sign in his neighborhood. The sign for “Severance Lane” is at Frontage Road. Farther west, the sign reads “Severence Lane” at Hualapai Way.

“Why the difference, and what would it take to correct the mistake?” Joaquin asked in an email to the Road Warrior.

I’m not sure why the error occurred, but the correct spelling is “Severence,” Las Vegas city spokeswoman Margaret Kurtz said. Your questions prompted the city to recently submit a work order for a new sign at the street’s intersection with Frontage.

ST. ROSE SIGNAL

Lee from Henderson wanted to know whether the signal timing could be adjusted for drivers wanting to make a left turn from St. Rose Parkway onto Maryland Parkway.

“The light waits through long periods of traffic before allowing the turn,” Lee said. “I’m sure that the timing at this intersection could be greatly improved.”

Crews will be dispatched to evaluate the signal timing at this intersection, but “there are a number of issues that could result in a long wait,” Henderson city spokeswoman Kim Becker said.

SETTING IT STRAIGHT

The Road Warrior answered a question last month for Toni from Henderson, who wanted to know whether the city planned to extend southbound Maryland Parkway to Volunteer Boulevard. The answer I received from Henderson city spokeswoman Kim Becker was incorrect, as noted by Chris Jones, a spokesman for McCarran International Airport.

It turns out the county’s Department of Aviation owns much of the property south of the current terminus for Maryland Parkway, and there were no immediate plans to extend the road, as noted in the column that ran in the Feb. 27 edition of the Road Warrior.

After chatting with both sides, the Road Warrior learned that Becker meant to say that construction will start sometime next year to extend Sunridge Heights Parkway as a way to make it easier for drivers to get in and out of the Sun City Anthem area.

Questions and comments should be sent to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com. Please include your phone number. Follow the Road Warrior on Twitter: @RJroadwarrior

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