South by southwest: Area drivers given hope

Residents in the south and southwest part of the Las Vegas Valley are understandably concerned about the improvement of traffic flow in that region. We get plenty of questions about road projects under way. We’ll start off with the latest today.

Diane asks: Can you find out why there is a mountain-size pile of dirt being built beside the railroad tracks at the far west part of Cactus Avenue between Rainbow and Jones boulevards? Are they building a road over the railroad?

Yes Diane, that is exactly what they are doing. Clark County is building a detention basin at Duck Creek and the railroad and the dirt pile is from the excavation. The county is saving money by storing the dirt on site and eventually using it for the Cactus Avenue ramp over the railroad tracks.

The county plans to extend Cactus over the railroad to create a new east-west thoroughfare south of Blue Diamond Road, according to county spokeswoman Jennifer Knight. A traffic signal will be erected at Rainbow Boulevard and the developer of Mountain’s Edge will improve Rainbow from Le Baron Avenue to Starr Avenue. That project is expected to be finished in late 2011.

As far as bringing Cactus over the railroad tracks, the project is still in the design phase. When it will be built is contingent on the county securing the funds to complete the project.

Louis is fed up with Flamingo: Flamingo Road at the Strip has been a disaster for a year. It’s hard to imagine it would take this long to finish a project. As a cabdriver it’s been a nightmare with the delays and lane closures. Most of the time workers aren’t even out there. Is there an end in sight?

According to spokeswoman Debi Puccinelli, this project, which was initially slated for completion at the end of the summer, is almost finished. Puccinelli said the final work to be done is the restoration of the road and crews expect to wrap that up by mid-September. Keep your fingers crossed.

For those of you unaware of what is going on along that corridor, Harrah’s Entertainment paid $60 million to bury power lines, which obstructed views from hotel rooms and stood in the way of future expansions.

Several readers have questioned this issue since Rob raised it in Saturday’s newspaper: Recent traffic enforcement by Metro and other local agencies on freeways puzzles me. I expect Metro to police city and county streets and make an occasional traffic stop on a freeway. The Nevada Highway Patrol should work the freeways and county roads.

Interstate 15 and the Las Vegas Beltway are mostly patrolled by the Nevada Highway Patrol, but that doesn’t mean that the Las Vegas police department doesn’t lend a hand once in awhile. Periodically, law enforcement agencies organize task forces that focus on areas where there might be a problem with, for example, speeding. The Metropolitan Police Department has also been assisting the NHP on the south end of I-15 near the Beltway, where construction crews are working dangerously close to the freeway and where lane restrictions are common. Speeding is a concern in that area.

Another reason Metro is on the freeways is because the highway patrol simply doesn’t have enough officers, according to Trooper Chelita Rojas. The two agencies probably will be cooperating until the economy bounces back.

Mark wants to know: What exactly are they doing on Volunteer Boulevard and when will the work be finished?

The city of Henderson embarked on a project to improve ingress and egress to Sun City Anthem in May. Using stimulus funding, crews are reconstructing both Volunteer and Executive Airport Drive. That work is expected to be finished by December. But wait, there will be more. The entire stretch of Volunteer-Executive Airport will be widened and Volunteer will be widened to Gilespie Street. That work will begin early next year.

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

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