The year 2020 will come to a close in just one week’s time and Pahrump is set to start out the new year with the addition of a brand new crosswalk on what is the valley’s busiest roadway, Highway 160.
The new crosswalk is pegged for the intersection of Highway 160 and Postal Drive, a highly trafficked section of the highway which fronts one of the town’s major casinos, Saddle West, as well as a variety of local businesses. Because of the long stretch of distance between two of the valley’s existing crosswalks, those located at Highway 160 and Highway 372 and at Highway 160 and Calvada Boulevard, this section of the highway often sees pedestrians attempting to cross the road illegally, creating a hazard for themselves as well as drivers passing through the area.
Officials with Nye County have been working toward getting a crosswalk installed in this area for several years and it appeared that there was some forward movement on the concept in late 2018, when the county met with local utility company Valley Electric Association and Blackjack Fireworks owners to discuss the parameters of the project. However, it then took nearly a full two years following that meeting before construction on the new crosswalk actually commenced, with construction crews finally starting the project this past October.
Work on the new crosswalk then came to a temporary halt in November due to issues regarding an easement necessary to bring electricity to the crosswalk. The easement in which the infrastructure to power the crosswalk’s flashing lights was to be located belongs to Valley Electric Association, NDOT Public Information Officer Tony Illia had explained when reached for comment about the suspension of work.
In order for the project to move forward, NDOT required VEA to conduct the work in the easement. The utility company has now finished its work, paving the way for the company NDOT has contracted with for the project, MC4 Construction, to get back on site and wrap up the last of the construction needed to see the new crosswalk become a reality.
With construction crews poised to return to the valley next week, there are some lane restrictions that NDOT wants the community to be aware of.
On Monday, Dec. 28, both the shoulders on Highway 160 will be closed in each direction at Postal Drive while crews install new signage in the area. The shoulder closures will be in effect from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. that afternoon.
The following day, Tuesday, Dec. 29, one lane in each direction along Highway 160 at Postal Drive will be closed from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., allowing work crews to perform the final crosswalk striping.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 30 and 31, more lane closures are in store as traffic along Highway 160 at Postal Drive will be shifted to one side of the street so that work crews can install the overhead signal posts. This work will be conducted overnight, with the shifts in traffic expected between the hours of 9 p.m. Wednesday night and 5 a.m. Thursday morning.
“The temporary lane restrictions are needed as part of the $246,775 intersection improvements that began on Oct. 5,” a news release from NDOT stated. “MC4 Construction is the general contractor. Upgrades include placing two new streetlights, adding crosswalk pavement markings and installing a pedestrian push-button activated overhead rapid flashing beacon.”
Illia said the project will greatly enhance safety for both pedestrians and motorists, as well as mobility at the increasingly busy intersection.
“Motorists should use caution while traveling through the work zone, heed construction signage and take alternate detour routes, if possible,” the news release reminded drivers. “NDOT works with Waze to inform the public about planned highway restrictions but unscheduled construction changes, closures and restrictions are possible due to weather and other factors. For the latest state highway conditions visit nvroads.com or call 511 before driving.”
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at [email protected]