Las Vegas Valley’s construction season is coming; so are barrels and cones

With what’s expected to be the Nevada Department of Transportation’s busiest construction season in its 100-year history approaching, drivers likely will start seeing more orange cones on Las Vegas roads.

The increased construction work comes from major projects including Project Neon and the first phase of Interstate 11, NDOT spokesman Tony Illia said. Increased fuel revenue indexing is making more projects financially possible, Illia said, adding that the department tries to space its construction projects out.

“We do construction in a phased manner,” he said. “So we’re not trying to do everything at once, especially if it’s concentrated in one particular area.”

Increased construction brings more traffic and cones. But why are cones left in the road when no construction is taking place?

One reason is safety, said Regional Transportation Commission Manager of Engineering John Penuelas.

“There are times when traffic control has to be in place, even when there’s no work in place,” he said.

An example of when it’s necessary — just not visibly — is when concrete is curing and unsafe to drive on, Peneuelas said.

The Federal Highway Administration mandates where cones must be placed and how long they must be there, Penuelas said.

“When the work is done, (contractors) just cannot willy-nilly start taking down traffic-control systems,” he said.

The RTC’s Freeway and Arterial System of Transportation (FAST) team adjusts traffic-signal timing during construction, which it did most recently in partnership with NDOT and Project Neon, according to the RTC.

The RTC has teamed with local jurisdictions for “Seeing Orange,” which provides information about construction projects throughout the valley. Call 702-928-CONE (2663), email seeingorangenv@rtcsnv.com or go to seeingorange.rtcsnv.com. Penuelas and Illia also recommend motorists download the free Waze navigation mobile app to receive real-time updates on construction and traffic.

To reach View intern reporter Kailyn Brown, call 702-387-5233 or email kbrown@viewnews.com. Follow her on Twitter: @KailynHype.

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