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Residents blast Henderson’s route for transporting fill dirt

Residents opposed the city of Henderson’s plan to transport fill dirt from the corner of Ithaca Avenue and Magic Way to the corner of U.S. Highway 95 and Galleria Drive at a community meeting June 30 — about 12 hours before the project was slated to begin.

Councilwoman Gerri Schroder, along with Scott Jarvis, project engineer for the city, and Robert Murnane, public works director, explained the project and addressed concerns and answered questions.

Whether it was with their hands raised waiting to talk or speaking openly with comments such as, “I guess it was better to ask forgiveness than permission,” or, “Would you want this by your front door?” about 40 people gathered at the Heritage Park Senior Facility, 300 S. Racetrack Road, to voice their opinions. About 300 people in the affected area were mailed notices.

“So this meeting doesn’t really change anything,” said one resident, who didn’t want to be named, after the meeting. “They are still carrying on the project.”

Jarvis and Schroder said the city looked at several potential routes for the project.

“We looked at routes and determined which way would be the safest,” Schroder said.

Jarvis added that the city considered mileage , the fastest route, school zones and which streets have the fewest stops and crosswalks.

The 7.7-mile route transports the dirt down Ithaca Avenue to Racetrack Road and Athens Avenue, passing about 50 front doors before traveling onto Lake Mead Parkway, Warm Springs Road and Boulder Highway to the site at Galleria Drive and U.S. Highway 95 . The site is being prepared for Union Village, a health care, retail and residential development slated to begin construction in 2012.

“We expect about 150 trucks per day only one way,” Jarvis said.

Jarvis said the gap between trucks on the road going between sites could be anywhere between two and five minutes, depending on efficiency.

As part of the city’s land-use agreement with the Union Village developers, the land is scheduled to be ready by the end of December. The agreement was approved at the June 14 City Council meeting.

Multiple residents questioned whether the project would even come to fruition, saying it isn’t even funded yet.

“I can’t speak on behalf of Union Village,” Jarvis said.

Regardless, Jarvis said, the project must be finished by December.

Residents said they are angry about the route of the project and the short notice , saying the city should have given more than a week’s notice and scheduled a meeting before the eve of the project’s start.

Other concerns included response time for ambulances and how police will maintain enforcement.

“All vehicles are required to yield to emergency vehicles, including these trucks,” Jarvis said. “The (emergency vehicles) will have to wait until the trucks get out of the way. Will there be a great delay? Yes.”

Jarvis said he has asked the Henderson Police Department to make sure added enforcement is arranged.

Schroder said she thought the confusion came from not knowing that this was a public works project, which allows the city to fix the streets if damaged, as opposed to a developer project.

Murnane said that about six months after the project, the city would look at the streets and determine whether any repairs are needed .

The mountain of dirt, about 50 feet tall and a mile and a half long, was originally planned to stay at the corner of Ithaca Avenue and Magic Way until the developer decided to sell the dirt.

When talks began with Union Village, the city looked further into transporting the dirt to prepare a potential site before entering an official agreement.

Contact Henderson and Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at mlyle@viewnews.com or 387-5201.

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