It’s February, and Las Vegans know what that means: The weather is going to get nicer, the road crews are going to want to get out there before it gets too hot, and that means one thing — more orange cones!
The first question out of today’s mailbox relates to all those cones.
Warrior reader Birute asks: “What’s with the rather large, unsightly circular signs reading: ‘Clark County Indexing Fuel For Our Future, New Roads, New Jobs’? I hope they are temporary.”
You noted they’re “rather large, unsightly circular signs,” but you neglected to add they’re hideous, ugly and obnoxious.
Thankfully, they are temporary, and they mark some of the more than 200 road projects funded by the three-year program that tacks an extra 10 cents to the price of a gallon of gasoline in Clark County.
The program ends in December, but Clark County voters will be asked on the November ballot to extend the program for 10 years.
So consider those big yellow babies as campaign signs to remind you how much better things are with fixed-up roads. And they come to us courtesy of those who will benefit from an extension the most — the contractors.
You can probably guess that I’m not a fan of the signs, but the plan to raise money to fix streets that have long been neglected is worthwhile to our quality of life.
My beef is that those signs have to cost something to make. Wouldn’t it make more sense to skip the signs and put more money into the projects?
Speaking of signs, Warrior reader Jim pointed out a signage problem on U.S. Highway 95:
“There is a confusing sign on northbound U.S. 95 about a quarter-mile south of the North Buffalo Drive exit. Drivers are instructed to be in the right lane to access Buffalo. However the lane actually directs motorists to the eastbound 215 Beltway.
“Once drivers are in the right lane exit, they have to merge into the left lane quickly to get to where they want to be. This needs to be corrected.”
The Nevada Transportation Department agrees with you, Jim.
From agency spokesman Tony Illia:
“Thank you for bringing that issue to our attention. We appreciate it,” he said.
“That area is currently located within an active construction zone as part of the $47 million U.S. 95-215 Beltway interchange, or ‘Centennial Bowl,’ being built in northwest Las Vegas. The project will build north- and southbound U.S. 95 connection ramps to the east- and westbound Beltway, respectively, while also adding a southbound collector-distributor road. Work is scheduled to finish in the spring of 2017.
“Meanwhile, in response, we will remove the confusing exit signage. It will soon be replaced with new signage that is clearer for an improved driver commute with smoother directional transitions.”
Warrior reader Cindy is hoping her commute will get a little easier if Clark County will just get around to one little piece of infrastructure:
“Are they ever going to bring Desert Inn Road east across the wash up to Hollywood Boulevard? I take Hollywood to work sometimes because there is no traffic and it would sure make my life easier, as I live right off of East Desert Inn.”
Your life will begin getting easier next year, Cindy. The channel in reference is the Las Vegas Wash as well as the Flamingo Arroyo Trail.
Clark County’s Dan Kulin added these details:
“We are planning to build a bridge over the channel there to connect Desert Inn to Hollywood. Design will begin this year, with construction possibly next year.”
Slow times in Virgin Gorge
It’s going to be slow going through the Virgin River Gorge, that 30-mile sliver of Arizona northeast of Las Vegas on Interstate 15, next week.
Speed will be reduced to 25 mph from 6 a.m. Feb. 9 through midnight Feb. 11 on the highway between Mesquite and St. George, Utah.
Crews are trying to minimize vibrations on a fresh concrete pour on new bridge decks for a 66-hour period.
During that period, all commercial truck traffic will be restricted to carrying loads of 40 tons or 80,000 pounds, the legal limit for trucks across the state.
Travel time through the canyon is expected to be an hour longer than normal those three days.
And speaking of concrete, there will be a world of it here in town next week.
Two big conventions will make traffic a little heavier than normal Tuesday through Friday in the vicinity of the Las Vegas Convention Center. World of Concrete 2016 will bring 56,000 people to the Convention Center, and 21,000 more will be at the 44th annual Safari Club International Hunters Convention at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
Also, don’t forget, it’s First Friday, the monthly arts traffic jammer in downtown Las Vegas this Friday.
— Questions and comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your phone number. Follow the Road Warrior on Twitter @RJroadwarriorRoad Work Ahead
■ Wigwam Avenue will be closed at various locations between Bermuda Road and Las Vegas Boulevard through April 15 for a sewer line improvement project. Work will start at Bermuda and move west a block at a time through completion. Property access will be maintained throughout the project.
■ Lanes of Torrey Pines Drive will be disrupted for valve maintenance between Big Pine Way and Smoke Ranch Road through Feb. 11.
■ Lanes of Sahara Avenue will be disrupted for landscaping between Fort Apache Road and Diamondback Drive through Feb. 13.
■ Lanes of Bradley Road will be disrupted for sewer line work between Horse Driveand Brent Lane through Tuesday.
■ Lanes of Buffalo Drive will be disrupted for vault maintenance between Vegas Driveand Washington Avenue through Tuesday.
■ Lanes of Bonanza Road will be disrupted for vault maintenance between 15th and Bruce streets through Thursday.
■ Lanes of Jones Boulevard will be disrupted for underground utility work and paving at Elkhorn Road through Sunday.
■ Lanes of Sky Vista Drive will be disrupted for valve maintenance north of Charleston Boulevard through Feb. 8.
■ Lanes of Tenaya Way will be disrupted for median maintenance between Cheyenne Avenue and Smoke Ranch Road through Feb. 11.
■ Several portions of Valley View Boulevard will be restricted for pothole maintenance through Feb. 12. Affected areas include southbound between Frias and Le Baron avenues; at westbound Cactus Avenue; at eastbound and westbound Silverado Ranch Boulevard; southbound at Richmar Lane; and northbound and southbound at Serene Avenue.
■ Lanes of Grand Teton Drive will be disrupted for landscaping between Durango and Buffalo drives through Feb. 18.
■ Lanes of Elkhorn Road will be disrupted for a storm drain project between Fort Apache Road and Grand Canyon Drive through Feb. 16.
■ Lanes of Washington Avenue will be disrupted for a utility pole replacement at Pecos Road through Feb. 16.
■ Traffic will be restricted on Fort Apache Road at Blue Diamond Road through Feb. 29 for a sewer line and manhole project. Traffic is shifted to the west half of Fort Apache with one lane open in each direction to 200 feet north of the Blue Diamond intersection. Work is planned from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
■ Restrictions will be in place through February on Lamb Boulevard between Wyoming Avenue and Vegas Valley Drive on a water pipeline rehabilitation project. Lamb will be reduced to one lane in each direction and left turns will be prohibited. Two lanes will be open in each direction during daylight hours. Work is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays.
■ Fifth Street in North Las Vegas is closed between Cheyenne Avenue and Losee Road through February for the construction of an overpass route that will connect Fifth to East Carey Avenue.
■ Simmons Street is closed south of Craig Road for a water drainage project that will be completed in February.
The average gasoline price Friday in the Las Vegas Valley was $2.31 per gallon. It was $2.29 in Nevada. The national average of $1.81 is down 4 cents from a week ago, down 20 cents from a month ago and down 24 cents from a year ago.
— Las Vegas Review-Journal