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County promises to do better on F1 resort corridor street reopenings

Updated November 15, 2023 - 4:54 pm

Road closures imposed on several resort corridor streets were supposed to be open by 6 a.m. Wednesday for the daily commute.

They weren’t.

A Clark County official said things should be better Wednesday night into Thursday morning as transportation officials iron out details of closures and openings associated with the Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix.

“The scheduled closures were a practice run to work through the kinks in the transition from hot track to cold track to ensure delays with reopening the roads are minimized as we move through the next few days,” Jennifer Cooper, Clark County’s chief communications and strategy officer, said in a Wednesday email.

“As expected, there were a few things to work out which caused a slight delay in reopening,” she said.

Under the transportation and road closure practice run, street closures were expected to begin just after midnight, and fully closed by 2 a.m., with reopenings beginning at 4 a.m. with full access by 6. But it wasn’t until just after 7 a.m., that streets were fully open.

Cooper did not say what specifically led to the reopening delay.

Closures will begin earlier the rest of the week.

Metropolitan Police Department Undersheriff Andrew Walsh said Metro is treating the closure plan like the one used every New Year’s Eve.

Traffic closures will be enforced on parts of Las Vegas Boulevard, Koval Lane, Harmon Avenue and Sands Avenue from Thursday to Saturday beginning each day at 5 p.m. with a “hard closure” at 7 and the roads reopening at around 6 a.m. the next day, “contingent on how fast the crews can clear the circuits,” he said.

Meanwhile, at Harry Reid International Airport, Clark County Department of Aviation officials said a steady flow of passengers — many of them wearing Formula One race gear — were arriving at the main commercial airport serving Las Vegas.

“We’re looking at tomorrow (Thursday) being the largest influx of commercial passengers,” Reid spokesman Joe Rajchel said.

He said general aviation planes are expected to fill all available parking places for corporate jets by Thursday. An estimated 400 planes are expected to park at Reid, Henderson Executive Airport and North Las Vegas Airport.

While arrival times are more spread out with planes arriving over several days, the busiest days at Reid are expected to be Sunday and Monday after the race ends. Rajchel said not only will Sunday and Monday be getaway days for F1 fans, but they also will overlap the start of Thanksgiving travel.

Airport officials are promoting “Cross the Finish Line with the 4-3-2-1 Plan.”

That initiative involves planning transportation to the airport four hours before flight time, checking bags three hours before, getting in line for the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint two hours before and arriving at the gate an hour before flight departure.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on X.

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