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Council hears bypass updates

Boulder City residents will soon see construction being done around the Eldorado Mountains as the Interstate 11 project inches closer to groundbreaking.

During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, representatives from the Nevada Department of Transportation, Regional Transportation Commission and Las Vegas Paving laid out a plan discussing their joint efforts to get the Boulder City bypass moving.

Fencing is scheduled to be laid out around the construction site by April 20, and tortoises will be cleared out for preservation purposes. According to Chad Anson of the CA Group, a Las Vegas-transportation engineering company that will lead the design for Las Vegas Paving, the goal is to expedite the process and begin fencing by April 1.

Blasting around the Eldorado Ridge, Anson said, will begin in May or June and will take about a year to complete.

The completed Boulder City bypass project will be a four-lane interstate with interchanges at U.S. Highways 95 and 93. There also will be 10 bridge structures, four wildlife undercrossings, one wildlife overcrossing, an off-highway vehicle crossing, and a southbound scenic parking area that overlooks Lake Mead as part of the project’s second phase managed by the RTC.

The 2.5-mile first phase will be managed by NDOT and constructed by Fisher Sand &Gravel.

To address residents’ concerns about naturally occurring asbestos, all workers and work areas will be heavily monitored for dust. Tetra Tech will monitor air for both phases, and the levels of naturally occurring asbestos will be sampled daily.

Anson said Las Vegas Paving also will be using commercial-sized misters to keep large amounts of areas wet during construction.

“We want to address that head-on and make sure our NOA management plan is specifically tailored toward this project,” he said. “We’re doing our best with known information. We’re not trying to make up data. We’re going to use what we’ve got and the facts that we have to make the best decisions possible for the workers and the community.”

Ryan Mendenhall of Las Vegas Paving said all employees must take a training class in naturally occurring asbestos before setting foot on the job. The two-hour class will teach workers about risks and mitigation procedures. He added that the type of explosives Las Vegas Paving will use for blasting will limit the amount of dust in the air.

“We are well aware of the serious nature of it,” Mendenhall said.

Mayor Roger Tobler commended the agencies for working together and stressed the importance of communication during construction. All agencies will work from an office at 1404 Colorado St. where residents can ask questions and get updates on the project.

“I think there might be some real value with some coordination with everybody,” Tobler said. “If we have some delays or anything else, it would be nice to have some protocols in place among the different agencies.”

Officials expect the project to be completed by July 2018.

In other news, the council discussed the seven concrete sculptures that will be erected as part of the improvements for Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park.

Using sketches to make their decision, the sculptures recommended by city staff included a jackrabbit, horned lizard, rattlesnake, scorpion, mountain lion, roadrunner and a Gila monster. Council debated using a desert tortoise instead of the mountain lion.

All sketches were designed by Universal Precast Concrete, which will build the sculptures.

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at sslivka@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow @StevenSlivka on Twitter.

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