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No pain, no gain in the roadway game

About a year ago it seemed every road motorists turned down, they would find cones or barriers or some sort of construction project going on. It doesn’t seem quite as bad these days, but once in a while, there is a fairly minor project that causes a fairly major pain for residents — especially when it interferes with your daily route to work. Here’s Margie:

I work on Pilot Road and use Bermuda Road to access my place of work. This road is going to be closed from May 5 to 11. I would like to know why. It’s a very wide four-lane road, lightly traveled. So I’m definitely curious as to why the whole road will be closed for that length of time.

First off, Margie, that project was postponed until May 11, but yes the entire roadway will be closed for three days. Farwest Paving will be doing some maintenance work on the Union Pacific railroad tracks that cross Bermuda.

Terri Metzler of Farwest said that when crews make adjustments to the tracks, they lift the track up in one piece and move it to the side, leaving a gaping hole in the road. So, while inconvenient, they have no choice but to shut down all lanes to traffic.

“Because of the work being done with the rigid rail and a machine that spans 80 feet, these crossings require a full closure in order to establish a continuous and compacted grade at the crossing,” Metzler said.

The good news I suppose is that it’s for only a few days.

Robert asks: Construction to widen Simmons Road between Craig and Lone Mountain roads started a few months ago and seems to have come to a complete halt. Can you please find out if and when the work will be completed? That short stretch of about 200 yards has been a complete mess for some time now.

Your pain should go away by May 20, Robert. According to North Las Vegas public works engineers, the widening project began in September and is actually a month ahead of schedule. Work, according to these guys, has not been halted, and in fact the contractor is repaving the roadway and replacing the markings now. The widening is only one element of the job and is being done to get rid of the dangerous “sawtooth” road that stretched between Craig Road and Bradford Hill Avenue. The entire project is a $2.5 million endeavor that includes the construction of a new drainage structure underneath Simmons.

Bill has a Wagon Wheel question. First: I have a question about the intersection of Wagon Wheel Drive and Boulder Highway. Several months ago they came out and ripped up the asphalt and laid down a new first layer. Then all of a sudden they laid out the lane lines and disappeared. We now have a 2 inch lip where the intersection meets the roadway. Good on the tires. When are they coming back to finish the job?

Nevada Department of Transportation engineers placed a mat over this lip a while back, but something went wrong, Bill. The chemicals in the mat are supposed to allow the material to span the uneven edges of roadway and stick to the pavement, but that didn’t happen. The transportation agency is awaiting word from the manufacturer of the mats to see what happened to the consistency of the material. In the meantime, crews were sent out to mill and smooth out that lip so your tires should soon be safe.

Jacob wants a signal: My wife and I bought our home in the southwest valley in 2005. The area south of I-215 between Jones Boulevard and Durango Drive was just being developed. We were excited to learn about the Arroyo shopping area at 215 and Rainbow Boulevard being built as an array of stores would now be within a stone’s throw of our home. I am wondering, are any plans to give the shopping plaza some sort of “main entrance” with a traffic light. For a plaza of that size to empty onto Rainbow one-eighth of a block shy of the 215 is ridiculous. Every day, evening traffic crossing 215 at Rainbow is needlessly delayed by people trying to exit the “main” entrance into rush hour traffic with no light.

Your short answer is no, there are not any plans to further develop a main entrance or install a traffic signal there at Rainbow. Clark County traffic engineers said there is no need for a light, and they purposely restricted the driveway to “lefts, rights in, rights out,” spokeswoman Jennifer Knight said. They believed this was adequate because there is a signal 660 feet away at Badura Avenue and 700 feet from the light at the Las Vegas Beltway. An added light might cause more congestion. It was the developer, not the county that installed the Badura light with hopes of accommodating traffic traveling south on Rainbow Boulevard.

The county is, however, widening Rainbow Boulevard to three lanes in each direction from Interstate 215 to Diablo. Those plans are about 30 percent complete, so hopefully that project will help out your situation.

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

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