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Unmarked dividers, ‘tubs’ in Henderson provoke reader gripes

We don’t get a lot of questions directed at the city of Henderson and doubt that is because its roads are in tip-top shape, but this week a Henderson couple unleashed a few gripes about that city’s roads and traffic-controlling features. So, let’s start with concerns from Frank and Kathy.

First, (we) cannot believe how horrible the street lighting is here in Henderson. Because it is so bad, it makes it difficult to see unmarked dividers in the street. Is the city too cheap to paint the whole divider?

The city’s policy is to paint the entire median when it is less than 4 feet wide; public works crews paint the “nose” of medians and install yellow reflectors and raised delineators on medians wider than four feet. Of all of its options, the city prefers to use the yellow paint because it lasts longest, but none of treatments can withstand multiple strikes or rubs from a vehicle. Maintenance on the paint is done on a case-by-case basis because of budget constraints.

Secondly: Who in the world designed the concrete work done around some of the light and utility poles that curve out into the fast lane? There is absolutely no reason for this wide area around the utility poles; it can be a very dangerous situation.

Frank and Kathy, these features are called “bath tubs” and are actually safety devices, according to the city of Henderson. Because utility and street light poles are not designed to break on impact, these concrete bath tubs help reduce the impact on passengers inside the vehicle. “The glancing blow created by the flared or curved leading edge typically spreads the energy over a larger area,” according to city spokeswoman Kathleen Richards. “It also tends to slow the energy transfer. In a crash, these things combine to reduce the energy ultimately transferred to the occupants of the vehicle.”

Finally: When is American Pacific Drive going to be fixed? We were told that it would be done this year — not going to happen.

Well, you are absolutely right about that resurfacing project not getting done this year. The advertising on that bid went out on Monday and the bidding won’t open until Jan. 6. Because this project is funded by federal stimulus money, $1.4 million to be exact, city officials must hop through more bureaucratic hoops than regular city-funded street work. The project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2010.

Robert, also in Henderson, is concerned about the Silverado Ranch Boulevard exit off Interstate 15: Silverado Ranch is one of the most dangerous exits in Clark County. The problem is that the exit was very poorly built. The traffic department of NDOT needs to make the exit ramp at least two lanes.

Robert, I have also witnessed fender-benders or vehicles veering onto the shoulder of the road to avoid a collision as traffic comes to an abrupt stop at that exit. The Nevada Department of Transportation agrees that this is a problem, but it did not design that exit. That project was drawn up and built by Clark County. But that exit is part of the state Department of Transportation’s $246 million Interstate 15 south design-build project. According to the department’s Bob McKenzie, an additional lane that stretches from Blue Diamond Road to Silverado Ranch is planned. Unfortunately, that project will not be completed for another two years at the earliest.

Alan asks about the dirt medians littered with garbage along U.S. Highway 95: I would like to know if there are any plans to landscape U.S. 95 from Rainbow Boulevard to Ann Road, especially Lake Mead Boulevard to Cheyenne Avenue. It’s a disgrace, this is the gateway to Summerlin and should reflect the community.

A widening project on Highway 95 between Rainbow Boulevard and Ann Road is scheduled to go out to bid sometime next year and will probably take about two years to complete, according to McKenzie with the Nevada Department of Transportation. The department will put off landscaping the highway until it is widened, Alan. The department has embarked on a $3.1 million beautification project between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Rainbow.

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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