Work to demolish, replace Sahara bridge over Las Vegas golf course begins Saturday

The Clark County Public Works Department has some advice for drivers in the neighborhoods around the Desert Rose Golf Course and it has nothing to do with golf.

The advice: Be alert for six months of traffic detours on Sahara Avenue at the bridge that spans the Las Vegas Wash.

Crews will begin demolishing the four-lane span over the wash on Saturday and build a new one that isn’t expected to open until fall.

It’s all part of a $51 million flood project that includes four miles of flood channel improvements, the installation of storm drainage pipes, relocating sewer lines and overhauling the 18-hole Desert Rose course, which was closed June 7. Sections of the Las Vegas and Flamingo washes will get improvements.

Most of the golf course along the wash has been removed and earthmovers and dirt-hauling trucks and trailers have been relocating fill.

The golf course, which doubles as a flood-retention basin, was damaged Sept. 11, 2012, when a flood ripped through the area, killing a man and causing millions of dollars in damage to the golf course and nearby homes.

The golf course is being reshaped and regraded to hold the volume of water generated in a 100-year flood.

The project is under the Southern Nevada Regional Flood District and includes homes and businesses within the city of Las Vegas and unincorporated areas of Clark County.

The 135-foot Sahara Avenue bridge over the Las Vegas Wash, between Sloan Lane and Winterwood Boulevard, is being raised 14 feet and lengthened 100 feet as part of the project. The wider channel will increase the volume of water that can flow through the region.

When demolition begins Saturday, the Sahara bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic, but a separate pedestrian crossing on a small bridge to the north of the street will be open.

Sahara will be closed to all but local traffic between Sloan Lane and Nellis Boulevard. County officials are recommending Charleston Boulevard and Vegas Valley Drive as substitute east-west routes and Nellis Boulevard, Sloan Lane, Treeline Drive and Hollywood Boulevard to carry north-south traffic in the area.

Construction updates and travel advisories will be posted during the project.

About 1,700 homes and businesses are affected by the project.

Clark County officials said residents living near washes are encouraged to have flood insurance even if their property isn’t in a flood zone. Flood-zone boundaries are determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the local governments. Homeowners can consult the Regional Flood Control District at 702-685-0000 or visit the agency’s website at

Flood insurance policies are available to all homeowners with backing from the National Flood Insurance Program.

Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at or 702-477-3893. Follow him on Twitter @RickVelotta.

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