And so it begins. On Monday, crews began the first stage for the revamping of Boulder City Parkway.
The $17.5 million project will “complete” the street by adding safety features along with elements to make it more aesthetically pleasing — in other words, make it more beautiful.
Additionally, crews will be making improvements to the street itself, which should definitely please drivers as the end result should make for smoother sailing as people head in and out of town.
The project is scheduled to take 305 days, about 10 months, which, if it’s anything like other construction projects, will likely take longer and feel much more like 10 years.
Fortunately, it’s being built in 10 phases to reduce the impact of construction on traffic along the stretch. A map shows the work being limited to small segments of the highway on one side/direction at a time, which should help.
The key to traversing the roadway during the project is patience. On Tuesday, the first day of lane closures, drivers heading south into town seemed to lack this virtue.
As they approached Veterans Memorial Drive driving in from Henderson, drivers seemed to ignore the clear warnings that the outside lane was being closed. They waited until the road before them was blocked by orange cones and then forced their way into the other lane. It’s a scene played over and over in construction zones and one that often leads to crashes and road rage.
Then, they impatiently moved forward, until they could turn right onto Veterans Memorial Drive — some weaving through the cones to enter the turn lane — and zoomed down the road as quickly as they could. But once past the light, traffic flowed nicely and at a good pace, despite the lane closure that ran to Gingerwood Street. Perhaps it’s because those impatient drivers left the main entrance into town that there were no problems.
City officials have said the work should not impact businesses along Boulder City Parkway too much and they are doing what they can to provide access as the project continues.
If you need to drive in the area, you can check the status of the project on a Facebook page set up to provide updates: www.facebook.com/MeadowValleyBoulderCity-Parkway.
We can only hope the timeline for this project, which is being supervised by Meadow Valley Contractors (and not the city itself), will not drag on like the $1.4 million revitalization of Nevada Way that started in late 2011 and wasn’t completed until early 2014 when the the arch welcoming visitors to the historic downtown area was installed. Granted, part of that delay was caused by the construction of CVS.
The end result, though, completed the vision established by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, which is funding the bulk of this project, as it was finalized during construction. And that is to make streets more accessible to people, bicycles and buses, as well as adding plants that help improve air quality and features that make them safer.
It’s a fair trade off — a couple of months of inconvenience for a future filled with beauty and the satisfaction of knowing our health and safety is a top concern of our government officials.
All it takes is a bit of patience.
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.