Friday, Jan. 2, 2009 | 3:50 p.m.
In anticipation of the completion of the Hoover Dam bypass bridge, improvements to U.S. 93 between Boulder City limits and Buchanan Boulevard will begin construction on Sunday and continue into March.
Acceleration lanes near Lake Mountain Drive, Ville Drive and Pacifica Way will be widened, and six-inch high raised curbs outlining the turn lanes will be installed. Additional signs and lighting will also be put in.
Boulder City Public Works Director Scott Hansen called the $1 million in improvements minor and said they fall short of the city's goals for the area.
"(The Nevada Department of Transportation) sees everything as fine out there," Hansen said. "The city believes we need to plan ahead."
He said city officials have asked NDOT to explore installing traffic signals and reducing speeds — suggestions they have spurned.
"They said the traffic doesn't warrant the signals," Hansen said. "They said speed's not causing a problem. They don't have excessive accidents out there."
One of the improvements will allow drivers turning out of the residential streets off U.S. 93 more room to accelerate to travel speed.
"They'll be able to merge more easily with traffic coming up the hill," Hansen said.
The new curbs will also enhance visibility with respect to drivers making left turns, he said.
"For traffic going downhill at 45 mph it's hard to see the turn lane delineations," Hansen said. "The six-inch curb will give drivers a little more protection from oncoming cars."
Crews will work from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., Hansen said, to avoid traffic problems. There will be partial closures from St. Jude's Street to Pacifica, but only between those hours. The only minor concern, he said, will be getting warm enough temperatures to pave.
"The good thing is we're getting the project done before the bridge is done," Hansen said. "We won't have the influx of all the trucks."
Dave Clark can be reached at 990-2677 or [email protected].