Construction Ahead

If nothing else, they’re still building roads around here

Bulldozers, gravel, orange cones and construction traffic abound around town, thanks in part to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Without those funds injected into Southern Nevada roadways, the economic downturn would likely have meant smaller budgets for transportation projects, according to Tracy Bower, spokeswoman for the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC).

The RTC has received more than $70 million in stimulus funds relating to transportation—$39.1 million for roadway projects, and $33.6 million for transit projects. It also got a $34.4 million grant to design and construct a rapid-transit line along Sahara Avenue.

Additionally, the RTC gets three-eighths of a cent from the county’s sales tax for roads and transit infrastructure. The agency approves and pays for projects while cities and the county administer contracts. The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) received more than $200 million in stimulus funds, and about $120 million of that was directed to projects in Clark County.

Here’s a rundown of some of the bigger projects currently in the under construction:

RTC Transit Projects

Bonneville Transit Center

Located at Bonneville Avenue and Casino Center Boulevard, this $18 million facility, which is expected to be LEED Gold-certified, will serve as a central transit hub for buses. It will also house a bicycle station and bicycle repair shop, which is open to the public. It’s scheduled to open in October.

Centennial Hills Transit Center and Park & Ride

Completed in March, this $10.6 million facility is a transit center/ park-and-ride lot served by the RTC’s Centennial Express (formerly called the C-Line), which links Centennial Hills with downtown Las Vegas, the Strip and UNLV, and also other routes.

Boulder Highway Express

A new rapid-transit bus route that will link downtown Las Vegas with Henderson via Boulder Highway, and features a dedicated transit lane for much of the route. Construction began in April and is scheduled to be complete in 2011.

Sahara Avenue Rapid Transit

This $40 million line along Sahara Avenue will reach from Boulder Highway to Hualapai Way, and feature dedicated transit lanes. It will link with the Deuce on the Strip, the Strip and Downtown Express, and Boulder Highway Express Rapid Transit lines. Construction will begin in 2011.

NDOT projects

Interstate-15 landscaping and aesthetics project

Designed to beautify Interstate15 southbound from California/Nevada state line to milepost 16, this $7.33 million project began in August and will be finished this month.

U.S. 95 repaving

A new topcoat on U.S. 95 from one-half mile south of state Route 157 (Kyle Canyon Road) to just north of Indian Springs. The $20.4 million project began May 2010 and is expected to take 200 working days.

Interstate 15 south

The project began in February 2010 to relieve congestion and improve traffic flow on Interstate 15 south, between Blue Diamond Road and Tropicana Avenue. It will cost is an estimated $246 million, and should be done in March 2012.

Interstate 15 north

This $251 million project began in 2007 and served to widen the Interstate 15/U.S. 95 spaghetti bowl Interchange to Craig Road. It’s currently wrapping up.

U.S. 95 widening

This $69 million project will widen the freeway from West Washington Avenue to Ann Road, expanding it from six to eight lanes, adding a high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lane and an auxiliary lane between interchanges, as well as adding operational improvements. The project began this summer and will be completed in less than two years.

Lake Mead Parkway widening

The project will widen Lake Mead Parkway (Route 564) from Boulder Highway to Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and from Boulder Highway to Ash Street at a cost of $13.5 million. It will be finished this fall.



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