As the northwest area continues to grow, so does its Beltway.
Construction on the 215 Beltway from Craig Road to Hualapai Way is set to turn 3 miles of the heavily traveled roadway into a fully functioning freeway to ease traffic congestion and create a safer environment.
The project falls entirely under District C, which is represented Clark County Commission Vice Chair Larry Brown.
“This project is critically important,” Brown said. “With the growth in the northwest, anyone that uses this area of the Beltway knows that Lone Mountain and Ann Road are currently signalized intersections, and the line of traffic during the morning and evening goes back 30 to 40 cars. The project won’t just focus on efficiency but on safety as well.”
The county began building out the northwest portion of the Beltway in September. Currently, earth work is being done on the west side of the Beltway between Lone Mountain and Ann roads, laying groundwork for the new freeway alignment.
Construction of the Lone Mountain interchange has also begun with excavation and forming of the bridge footings. The intersection of the Beltway and Ann Road has shifted east to a detour alignment, making room for construction of the new interchange bridge and ramps.
Construction crews also plan to transform two former gravel pits at Lone Mountain Road into stormwater detention basins.
In addition, the project includes new interchange exits at Lone Mountain and Ann, an extension of the western Beltway bicycle-pedestrian trail, major flood control improvements and a new bridge to carry Centennial Parkway traffic over the Beltway.
Many residents seem to be understanding of the project.
“It’s wonderful to live on a main street where you can be anywhere in the valley in about 30 minutes. It can, however, be a little busy at times, but for the most part, there is no traffic and very peaceful,” said local resident Randy Bridges, who lives near Lone Mountain.
“Most of the traffic is going east on Lone Mountain from 215. It’s basically a detour, rather than continuing north on 215 to Ann Road, Hualapai or Durango. With the new interchanges, there will be no stoplights at Lone Mountain and Ann Road. What that means to the residents is far less traffic. With the new growth continuing in the northwest, it’s a very good thing.”
“I understand that construction is a pain in the neck, but it is so needed there,” said nearby resident Carol Gonzalez. “It is scary driving north going up the hill while cars are flying down going south. There have been a few fatalities there, and it necessary for it to be a divided highway.”
The $92 million project, contracted to Las Vegas Paving, is set to finish construction by late spring 2018.
“Over 90 percent of the project will be done without impacting any existing traffic, so commuters won’t notice too much activity right now,” Brown said.
“Towards the end of the project, there will be some disruption as they close down the interim beltway and start using final alignment, but at the end of the day, this project will make a great difference.”
For more information, visit clarkcountynv.gov or call Brown’s office at 702-455-3500.
To reach North View reporter Sandy Lopez, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 702-383-4686. Find her on Twitter: @JournalismSandy.