Elevated roadways proposed to link McCarran, resort corridor

Tourism leaders got their first look at a proposed vehicle expressway linking McCarran International Airport with the resort corridor, applauding a plan unveiled Thursday by Clark County officials.

They also saw the first indications of dissent and skepticism from an elected official for a light-rail system that would transport passengers from the airport to downtown Las Vegas via the Strip.

Clark County Public Works Director Denis Cederburg unveiled an animation illustrating a pair of elevated two-lane roadways free of traffic signals that would move traffic north from the airport along Paradise Road and south on Koval Lane and Tropicana Avenue.

The county plan was part of a broad transportation presentation given to the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee. Several transportation entities — the Nevada Department of Transportation and the Las Vegas Monorail as well as the public works departments of the county and the city of Las Vegas — provided details outlined in the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada’s Transportation Business Investment Plan.

The plan is a 2,400-page document with 65 recommendations grouped in seven “suites” of projects.

The end goal of the committee is to prioritize the development of transportation, stadium and convention facilities that would keep Las Vegas competitive with other resort destinations.

Thursday’s meeting was dedicated to the transportation projects.

Cederburg listed several county road improvement projects that are either underway or in the planning stages, including new pedestrian overpasses on the Strip, the extension of Harmon Avenue over the Union Pacific railroad tracks, the extension of Howard Hughes Parkway south of Flamingo Road and a general improvement project along Convention Center Drive.

But the project that dazzled the committee the most was the proposed elevated expressway projects. Cederburg said the Koval Lane portion would cost an estimated $108 million while the Paradise project is estimated at $92 million. The roadways would be on bridge structures elevated over the existing street rights of way.

One portion of the Koval route couldn’t be elevated — the section along Tropicana Avenue abutting airport land near the ends of Runways 19L and 19R. Near the runways, the road would be lowered to grade level but kept separate from Tropicana traffic.

Faster commute time

Based on a test Cederburg’s staff conducted during CES, he said an airport commute during evening rush hour from Harmon Avenue to the airport took more than 28 minutes. With the elevated expressways, the staff estimated the commute would take just over nine minutes.

Cederburg said construction on the project could begin within about two years if approved.

Committee members also discussed an X-shaped bridge over the Strip that would have landing points in front of the Cosmopolitan, Bellagio, Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood properties. Some committee members questioned whether the price of $30 million would be worth the benefits.

But the biggest cost criticisms came from Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak, who made it clear that he was skeptical about whether a light-rail system, which would have estimated costs of $700 million a mile, would be worthwhile.

“These numbers just seem to be off the charts,” Sisolak said. “They’re just getting crazy … astronomical.”

Guy Hobbs, managing director of Hobbs, Ong & Associates and a technical adviser to the committee, said a light-rail system would cost between $7 billion and $12 billion in 2015 dollars, but that could balloon to $9 billion to $24 billion by the time the project is approved, designed and under construction.

Sisolak criticized the cost as well as the potential long-term disruption of the Strip at various points in the meeting until committee Chairman Steve Hill finally said, “We get the point. You have some concerns about the costs.”

The afternoon session featured presentations from cities that have successfully implemented light rail. Representatives of systems in San Diego, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Denver explained how there initially was concern about costs when rail systems were first proposed, but that once they were in place, economic development bloomed around rail stops and passengers were excited about rail lines being extended to their neighborhoods.

High-speed rail proposals

Committee members also heard presentations from the Las Vegas Monorail and XpressWest, the proposed high-speed rail proposal that would link Las Vegas with Southern California.

Curtis Myles, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Monorail, surprised some members of the committee by saying the company was still looking at the prospect of extending the monorail to McCarran — using a portion of the right of way that Cederburg had mentioned for the car expressways.

In recent months, Myles has stated publicly that the company is focused on extending the monorail line south from the MGM Grand station to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and building a new stop near the Sands Expo and Convention Center so that all three of the city’s major convention centers would be linked by a single transportation system.

Myles estimated a new stop at the Sands Expo and Convention Center would cost $12 million to $14 million to build and that the cost of extending the line a little over a mile to Mandalay Bay would cost between $120 million to $140 million.

The estimate bothered Sisolak, who said he couldn’t understand why the monorail, which would take $140 million a mile to build, couldn’t be extended to the airport since light rail would cost $700 million a mile to build.

XpressWest chief operating officer Andrew Mack gave a brief update on the company’s high-speed rail plan, which would be developed in phases with one being a 185-mile dedicated dual track between Las Vegas and Victorville, Calif., the second a 50-mile section between Victorville and Palmdale, Calif., and the third being to link the route to commuter rail in Palmdale.

Eventually, the California High-Speed Rail System would run between Los Angeles Union Station and Palmdale where the XpressWest system would connect.

The ultimate goal is to be able to provide one-seat, no-transfer service between downtown Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Find @RickVelotta on Twitter.

Thunder Mountain monument stands as a tribute to Native American culture
Caretaker Fred Lewis talks about Thunder Mountain monument in central Nevada, made from concrete and found items. The five-acre site is a tribute to Native Peoples of the West. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New CCSD superintendent Jesus F. Jara aims for 1st in the nation
On his third day as Clark County School District superintendent, Jesus F. Jara talks about his vision for the future during a visit to Del Sol Academy of the Performing Arts on Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Ceremony Recognizes Refugee Students, Graduates
Rosy Mibulano, a graduate of Las Vegas High School who came to America from the Congo in 2015, was recognized in a ceremony for refugee students in Clark County. Like many other students relocated to Las Vegas from countries around the world, Rosy had a challenging high school experience, from learning English to adjusting to American customs and taking care of her family. On top of that, she wants to go to school to become a nurse so she can take care of her mother, who suffers from diabetes. The annual Refugee Recognition Ceremony celebrates the enormous lengths these young adults go through to create a new life for themselves. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Water leak at Mandalay Bay convention center
The convention center area of Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas experienced major flooding Tuesday afternoon. Credit: Melinda Cook
Hollywood Memorabilia Up For Grabs at Las Vegas Auction
Elvis Presley's car, Marilyn Monroe's bras, Han Solo's blaster, and Jerry Lewis's "Nutty Professor" suit are just some of the items that are up for auction at Julien's Auctions at Planet Hollywood June 22 and 23. The auction's viewing room at Planet Hollywood is open to the public 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Saturday at Planet Hollywood. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Springs Preserve Exhibit Shows Off "Nature's Ninjas"
"Nature's Ninjas" arrives at the Springs Preserve, in an exhibit and live show featuring critters that come with natural defenses, from armadillos to snakes, poison dart frogs to scorpions and tarantulas (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CrossRoads of Southern Nevada psychiatric urgent care to open in Las Vegas
Jeff Iverson, who operates the nonprofit sober living facility Freedom House, is opening a private addiction treatment center that will operate a detoxification center and transitional living for substance users trying to recover. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser gives update of officer-involved shooting
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser provides an update about an officer-involved shooting at Radwick Drive and Owens Avenue in the northeast Las Vegas on Thursday. A robbery suspect was shot and killed. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Wayne Newton surprises burglars
Wayne Newton and his wife, Kathleen, arrived at their southeast Las Vegas home shortly before midnight on Wednesday to find two burglars inside their house. The burglars fled and were seen heading north through the property. Las Vegas police quickly set up a perimeter and launched an extensive search of the area, but the suspects were able to escape. It was unclear if the burglars got away with anything of value. Several items, under the watchful eyes of the police, were seen on the ground near the home's main driveway. Neither Newton, nor his wife, were injured. The Newtons were not available for comment.
Police Officers Turn Off Body Cameras
In four separate body camera videos from the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting released Wednesday, officers in a strike team are instructed to turn their body cameras off and comply with the request.
Debra Saunders reports from Singapore
Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent talks about the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.
How long will North Korea's denuclearization take?
In Singapore, Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent Debra Saunders asks President Donald Trump how long North Korea's denuclearization will take. White House video.
LVCVA purchase of gift cards hidden
A former LVCVA executive hid the purchase of $90,000 in Southwest Airlines gift cards in records at the agency. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, said the money was for promotional events and did not disclose that it was for gift cards. Lawson also instructed Southwest employees to submit invoices without mentioning the purchases were for the cards. More than $50,000 of the cards cannot be accounted for. The convention authority is publicly funded . Lawson recently resigned.
Kim Jong Un visits Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his entourage visited the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore briefly Monday night, local time. (Video by Philip Chope)
Coca-Cola Bottle Purse Has 9,888 Diamonds
Designer Kathrine Baumann and jeweler Aaron Shum set the Guinness World Record for most diamonds (9,888) set on a handbag. The Coca Cola bottle-shaped purse was on display at the Coca Cola Store on the Strip. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sentosa Island a pleasure resort with a pirate past
The site of Tuesday's U.S.-North Korea summit is known for theme parks and resorts. But before that, it was known as a pirate island. (Debra Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Judge Sandra Pomrenze's comment about girl's hair
Nevada Races Full of Women From Both Sides
It's already been a historic election season for women in politics. Record numbers of women are running for political office all over the country - including Nevada. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
East Las Vegas home damaged by fire
Clark County Fire Department crews responded to a house fire in east Las Vegas Thursday morning. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
911 call: Mom tries to get to son shot at Route 91
A woman stuck on the interstate during the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, tries to get to her son. 911 call released by Las Vegas police.
Las Vegas 911 caller reports people shot on Oct. 1
A 911 caller on Oct. 1, 2017, reports several people shot at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.
911 call from woman under stage in Las Vegas shooting
A 911 call from a woman underneath the stage at the Route 91 Harvest festival during the Oct. 1, 2017, Las Vegas shooting.
LVCVA facing scandal over gift cards
LVCVA is facing a growing scandal over airline gift cards. LVCVA bought $90,000 in Southwest Airline gift cards between 2012 and 2017. Now auditors can’t account for more than $50,000 of the cards. CEO Rossi Ralenkotter and his family used $16,207 in gift cards on 56 trips. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, was responsible for buying and distributing the cards. He recently resigned.
Siblings separated in the foster care system get a day together
St. Jude's Ranch for Children and Cowabunga Bay Cares program partnered to bring 75 siblings together for the day to play on the water slides and in the pools at the Henderson water park. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
People flee the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Las Vegas police released footage from a camera on Mandalay Bay of the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Aaliyah Inghram awarded medal of courage
Aaliyah Inghram, a 10-year-old girl who was shot while protecting her 18-month-old brother and 4-year-old cousin during a shooting on May 8, awarded medal of courage. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegans Pack Public Lands Open House
A crowd filled the Clark County Library conference room Tuesday afternoon where Clark County officials hold their first -- and possibly only -- public meeting on plans to open almost 39,000 acres of federal land for development just outside the Las Vegas metropolitan area. County commissioners are set to vote June 19 on a potentially controversial resolution seeking federal legislation that would set aside tens of thousands of acres for conservation while giving Nevada’s largest community more room to grow. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like