weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Safety upgrades planned for one of Las Vegas’ busiest roads

Updated May 16, 2022 - 10:34 am

A 4-mile stretch of Sahara Avenue in central Las Vegas is getting improvements aimed at increasing safety.

The Nevada Department of Transportation is hosting an “online meeting” through Saturday on the planned $4 million upgrade on Sahara between Rancho Drive and Rainbow Boulevard. Residents may view details and submit input at saharaavenuesafetyproject.com. Plans will be finalized this summer, with construction starting in the winter and ending in fall or winter 2023, according to the website.

The stretch of Sahara is one of the busiest in the valley with an average daily traffic count of 45,000-60,000 vehicles. Between 2012 and 2017, there were 1,665 pedestrian, motorcycle, bicycle and bus crashes in the project area, according to the Transportation Department.

Plans call for median installations and modifications and various pedestrian safety upgrades.

“Also known as ‘pedestrian fencing,’ the safety barriers will be installed within the median to encourage pedestrians to walk at the designated crosswalk instead of crossing outside the crosswalk near Palace Station, thus reducing the conflict points between pedestrians and vehicular traffic,” department spokesman Justin Hopkins wrote in an email. “Pedestrian safety barriers are an ornamental, steel fencing made to direct pedestrians away from hazards, such as a busy road. It will be used to guide pedestrians towards a marked crosswalk.”

The fence will stand about 4 feet tall and stretch 230 feet, Hopkins noted.

Plans also include adjusting or adding traffic signal heads and centering them over each lane. Reflective yellow back plates will be added to make the signals more visible.

The department also will add flashing yellow arrows for left turns at various locations and eliminate left turns out of the cross streets and driveways at five intersections: Sahara and Mann Street, Mohawk and Sorrel streets, Westwind Road and Spanish Oaks Center. Median modifications will be made between Arville and Arenas streets.

Right-in/right-out turns will also be added at cross streets and driveways to reduce conflict areas at busy intersections. The westbound to northbound right turn lane at Rainbow will be reconstructed to reduce the radius of the turn. The island in the northeast corner of the intersection will be remade to meet Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.

In addition, a rectangular, rapid-flashing beacon will be added at Edmond Street. The beacons are pedestrian-activated warning devices with yellow LED flashing lights that alert motorists that a bicyclist or pedestrian is trying to cross the street. Pedestrian beacons also will be installed at Las Verdes Street.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter. Send questions and comments to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.