Nevada’s network of bridges ranked among the best in the nation for a fifth consecutive year, but a handful of spans are still deemed “deficient,” according to a transportation trade group.
The roads aren’t in danger of collapsing but require some upgrades to line up with federal standards, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association said last week.
Of nearly 2,000 bridges in Nevada, only 1.5 percent were classified by the trade group as “structurally deficient,” compared with the national average of 9 percent.
“I think what helps us is the fact that a lot of Nevada’s infrastructure is still fairly new,” said Tony Illia, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation.
“The southern end of the state has a dry climate, so structures aren’t affected by the same freeze-and-thaw effect caused by cold weather,” Illia said. “It’s important to build infrastructure but twice as important to maintain and keep it up, so we allocate the necessary funds to maintain our resources.”
Federal laws require all bridges, freeway overpasses and other structures to undergo assessments at least once every two years, leading to $17 million in repairs for 27 bridges across Nevada in 2015 and 2016, NDOT officials said.
Although figures are still being tallied for the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years, projections show that roughly $10 million will be spent for additional bridge work statewide.
Despite the high marks statewide, the association’s report found four bridges in the east Las Vegas Valley to be structurally deficient.
A bridge at Boulder Highway and U.S. Highway 95 is scheduled for replacement, with a construction contract expected to be advertised this summer, Illia said.
NDOT officials said three other deficient bridges slated for rehabilitation or replacement within the next five years are located at: U.S. 95 and Desert Inn Road; U.S. 95 and Eastern Avenue; and Paradise Road over the Tropicana Wash.
The report also found that 252 new bridges were built in Nevada over the past decade, 30 of which have undergone “major reconstruction.”
Additionally, the study’s authors found that 254 bridges statewide require repairs totaling $605.8 million.
Traveling in center median
Many of us have spotted motorists who pull into the center median and use it as a traffic lane in an attempt to get past other vehicles. Jay from Las Vegas wanted to know whether the maneuver is a legal way to bypass traffic, given the fact that solid yellow lines mean “do not cross.”
Trooper Jason Buratczuk of the Nevada Highway Patrol said drivers cannot travel more than 200 feet in the center lane. If they don’t turn brfore hitting that distance, they could be cited.
Additionally, Buratczuk noted that drivers turning left out of a side-street or private drive into the center lane must merge with traffic within 50 feet.
Lights give preference to Lake Mead
With the housing construction boom between Lake Las Vegas Parkway and Boulder Highway, Joyce from Henderson wanted to know whether the signal timing along Lake Mead Boulevard should be adjusted.
“The green lights are extremely long for smaller cross streets with little to no traffic,” Joyce wrote in an email to the Road Warrior.
The questions prompted the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada to investigate this stretch of Lake Mead Boulevard. RTC spokeswoman Catherine Liu said the signals are programmed to stay green for Lake Mead unless a motorist is turning out of a smaller street or a pedestrian needs to cross.
When the green light ends for smaller streets, it takes about seven seconds to cycle back to a red light due to the width of Lake Mead, Liu said.
“Lake Mead Parkway is a busy corridor that we monitor constantly for improvements,” Liu said.
Cameras are watching
Greg regularly drives north on Interstate 15 toward Overton and noticed cameras mounted on poles that were recently installed near the Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas.
The pole-mounted cameras and accompanying radar system were put in place as part of a $1.8 million “intelligent infrastructure” upgrade, Illia said.
The information is relayed to the regional traffic management center, where workers can dispatch crews in case of an accident, adjust signal timing and post messages on digital signs along the freeway.
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ROAD WORK AHEAd
— Southbound U.S. Highway 95 will be closed between Decatur Boulevard and Interstate 15 from 11 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday. Crews are building a carpool flyover ramp.
— The ramp linking northbound U.S. Highway 95 to northbound Interstate 15 will close nightly from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday to Thursday. Crews are making freeway upgrades.
— The outside lane of northbound Interstate 15 is closed between Desert Inn Road and Sahara Avenue through late February. Crews are erecting traffic management signs.
— The Charleston Boulevard offramp from southbound Interstate 15 is closed through March 6. Crews are building a new offramp.
— The eastbound Charleston Boulevard offramp from northbound Interstate 15 is closed through March 8. Crews are widening the freeway.
— The outside lane of southbound Interstate 15 is closed between Sahara Avenue and Flamingo Road through late April. Crews are erecting traffic management signs.
— The outside lane of northbound Interstate 15 will close between Flamingo and Desert Inn roads from March to late April. Crews are erecting traffic management signs.
— Main Street is restricted between Bonneville Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard through May. Crews are working on a storm drain.
— Sections of Bonneville Avenue, Charleston Boulevard, Grand Central Parkway and Martin Luther King Boulevard will have closed or disrupted lanes surrounding the Spaghetti Bowl as crews work on Project Neon through July.
— The Sunset Avenue/ Airport Connector offramp will be restricted from the eastbound 215 Beltway from 11 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday. Crews are repairing digital signs.
— The Sunset Avenue/ Airport Connector offramp from the westbound 215 Beltway will close from 11 p.m. Tuesday to 4 a.m. Wednesday, and again from 11 p.m. Wednesday to 4 a.m. Thursday. Crews are repairing digital signs.
— Southbound Paradise Road will be restricted between Tropicana Avenue and Russell Road from 11 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Thursday. Crews are repairing digital signs.
— Eastbound Russell Road will be restricted between Eastern Avenue and Surrey Street from 11 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. Crews are repairing digital signs.
— State Route 159 will be restricted between Blue Diamond Road and the Red Rock National Recreation Area from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through March 1. Crews are filling road cracks.
— Both directions of U.S. Highway 95 are narrowed to a single lane between Skye Canyon Park and Paiute drives through July 12. Crews are building a new interchange bridge.
— Center Street is restricted between Burkholder Boulevard and Lake Mead Parkway through June. Crews are making various road improvements.
North Las Vegas
— Nellis Boulevard is restricted between Cheyenne Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays through July. Crews are installing sewer pipes.
— U.S. Highway 93 is restricted between Interstate 15 and Apex Power Parkway through June. Crews are widening the highway and upgrading an interchange.
The average gasoline price Friday in the Las Vegas Valley was $2.70 per gallon. It was $2.74 in Nevada. The national average of $2.61 is up 4 cents from a week ago, up 12 cents from a month ago and up 34 cents from a year ago.