Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010 | 2:27 p.m.
Beyond the Sun
More road construction is coming to Las Vegas as officials broke ground Tuesday on the U.S. 95 Northwest Corridor Improvement Project.
The project will widen U.S. 95 from Washington Avenue to Ann Road by adding a high-occupancy vehicle lane. It also includes major renovations to interchanges along the corridor and will add landscaping and sound walls to parts of the freeway.
While the work means 2 1/2 years of construction for motorists, officials promise the end result will be worth the hassle and point out the economic benefits of construction.
“It’s going to stink for a little while, it’s going to be tough for a little while, but remember, construction means at the end of that construction period, there’s going to be good stuff,” said Las Vegas City Councilman Steven Ross, who represents the area and sits on the Regional Transportation Commission’s board.
“This is a testament that we haven’t stopped despite this economy,” he said. “We’re taking these taxpayer dollars and reinvesting them back into this economy, and that’s exactly what governments need to do.”
The project, which will be completed by Capriati Construction through a $68 million contract from the Nevada Department of Transportation, will provide long-term benefits, NDOT Director Susan Martinovich said at the groundbreaking in the Santa Fe Station Casino parking garage overlooking the freeway.
“The cool thing is that at the end of the day there’s a project, you can see a product and it’s a product that benefits thousands of people for 20-plus years,” she said. “As you’re driving through these work zones, remember: this is all very, very good.”
Ross said northwest Las Vegas is still growing despite the sour economy and the project will only help make the area more attractive to residents and businesses who want to move to the area.
“It’s going to change the quality of life out here,” he said. “People are going to commute to and from work safer, their families are going to be safer. The amenities -- the beautiful landscaping, the sound walls, the bridges -- it is all going to be just a spectacular thing.”
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said the landscaping and art on the sound walls would bring the road to a whole new level.
“The thing I love about the project is the care and attention that’s being given to the aesthetics; at the end of the day that will add to the quality of life that we enjoy here in Southern Nevada,” he said. “In the old days we were just putting out concrete and we didn’t really care about the experience of driving down these highways. Now, care and attention is being given.”
The high-occupancy vehicle lanes also will allow the Regional Transportation Commission’s new ACExpress C Line to connect the region to downtown more quickly and make the line more attractive to riders, RTC General Manager Jacob Snow said.
In the meantime, the line, which begins at the Centennial Hills Park and Ride, offers residents an alternative to driving in construction zones.
“You don’t have to deal with the construction,” Ross said. “Park your car, ride the bus and let the bus driver do it.”
Santa Fe Station is located in northwest Las Vegas, minutes away by car from the Strip, from Red Rock Canyon and Mount Charleston. The hotel offers one of the best values with 200 rooms.
The 64,000-square foot casino has more than 2,700 slots, 39 table games, a 24-hour, nine-table poker room, a race and sports book, a 432-seat bingo room and keno.
Dining options include the Feast Buffet with tastes from around the world, The Grand Cafe, serving up comfort food in a casual environment 24 hours a day. The upscale Charcoal Room boasts an extensive wine list.
Entertainment can be found in the Chrome showroom, featuring rock, country, jazz and blues acts, at Revolver Saloon and Dance Hall and at 4949 Lounge.
Santa Fe also offers a 60-lane bowling center, a 13-screen movie theater and supervised child care at Kids Quest.