Fuel for Thought is a periodic newsletter of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC). The newsletter’s goal is to keep Southern Nevadans informed about the progress and accomplishments from their contributions to the Fuel Revenue Indexing initiative (FRI). Proceeds from FRI are funding 215 transportation projects throughout the valley and adding approximately 9,000 jobs, supporting economic diversification and improving the quality of life for all Southern Nevadans. We welcome your input – please visit rtcsnv.com/fri to provide public comment.
The hot days of summer are upon us, but that’s not stopping progress on roadway, bridge and pedestrian safety improvement projects across Southern Nevada. Dozens of projects - large and small - are actively underway in this “Summer of Progress.”
In fact, more than $400 million in federally, state and locally funded projects are in various stages of construction across the valley that are helping to build our economy and grow our community. As of June 30, Fuel Revenue Indexing (FRI) had generated $262 million for 109 projects that are creating 3,378 jobs and engaging 71 small businesses. Here are a few projects to watch this summer:215 Beltway bridges, amenities open at Durango Drive and Ft. Apache Road
A grand opening celebration in July marked the completion of two bridges over the 215 Beltway North at Fort Apache Road and at Durango Drive. Launched in April 2014 as the first major projects to be funded in part by FRI, the construction created bridges to increase connectivity and added sidewalks, traffic lights, medians and street lighting in a fast-growing area. The $9.8 million project has created access for nearby residents to many shopping centers, restaurants, Centennial Hills Hospital and other businesses in the area. It has also created quicker, more efficient access to Centennial High School, Edmundo Escobedo Middle School and Sandra Lee Thompson Elementary school for parents, teachers, and students alike.
Stephanie Street improvements underway
This City of Henderson project broke ground on June 2 with $13.3 million of the total $18.5 million project cost coming from FRI funds. It is located in a growing area where the Valley Health System is building the $1.6 billion Union Village health care campus, which will pave the way for a new era of healthcare options in the state.
The Stephanie Street project also will create easier access to nearby shopping centers such as Galleria Mall, Cowabunga Bay Water Park and Costco. The project includes a two-lane bridge on Stephanie Street over U.S. 95,expansion of Stufflebeam Avenue to intersect with Stephanie Street, flood control improvements, elevated bicycle and pedestrian features, a landscaped trail and a pedestrian undercrossing and traffic signal at Patrick Lane and Stephanie Street. The project is expected to be complete in March 2016 and is creating approximately 188 jobs.
Flamingo Road Improvements Project
The Flamingo Road Improvements Project, which launched in March, is already making a lot of progress.
Construction is underway on Phase One with work being conducted between Grand Canyon Drive and Rainbow Boulevard, as well as between Koval Lane and Spencer Avenue. Work includes the installation of new bus shelters and median and traffic signal improvements. Phase One is expected to be complete by December 2015.
When completed in Fall 2016, the 14-mile roadway will have seven miles of resurfaced/restriped roadway, more than 100 new transit shelters, dedicated bus and bicycle lanes, improved crosswalks, new traffic signals and improved traffic flow technologies. The result of this important project is a new and improved Flamingo Road that is more efficient for motorists and safer for pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders.
A lot has happened since the historic I-11 groundbreaking event near Hoover Dam in April. Phase 1 (NDOT) and Phase 2 (RTC) are in early stages of construction for the combined $318 million project made possible through Fuel Revenue Indexing.
Preliminary work has focused on environmental issues – installing tortoise and wildlife fencing and salvaging plants in the construction area near the U.S. 93 interchange. Actual road construction is scheduled to begin late summer.
This first segment of an interstate connecting Las Vegas, Phoenix and eventually Canada and Mexico, will create 4,000 overall jobs and save motorists considerable travel time between the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge and Henderson. For the economy, it means moving people, goods and services more efficiently in and out of Southern Nevada. Both phases of the project are expected to be complete in 2018.
FRI is well into its second year with more than 32 percent of projects awarded to date. Thanks to a combination of cost savings and competitive bid processes, more than $31.9 million have been saved. This has allowed the RTC to reallocate funds to additional projects, bringing the total number of projects up from 199 to 215. The additional projects are located throughout the valley and include bike lanes and a new traffic signal on Gomer Road in Clark County, roadway rehabilitation on Eastern Avenue in Henderson, new roadway construction on Alexander Road in North Las Vegas and much more. For a full list of projects, visit rtcsnv.com/fri.
Southern Nevadans interested in entering the architecture, engineering and construction fields had a unique opportunity to explore the possibilities at the Mega Work Expo at Texas Station in May.
Held in conjunction with National Infrastructure Week and organized by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) and local partners, the event connected 40 contractors, subcontractors, workforce agencies, apprenticeship and education program providers with more than 200 attendees.
“This investment in our infrastructure leads to job creation and economic growth throughout the valley,” said Clark County Commissioner and LVCVA Chair Lawrence Weekly at the press conference preceding the expo. “To achieve long-term success, we need local companies – large and small – to work together to create jobs and business opportunities to benefit men and women of Southern Nevada.”
Residents looking to work in these fields got firsthand information about job opportunities and how to get started. Some had follow-up interviews as a result of the expo, which was designed to help fill workforce needs in these fields as the economy continues to grow, due in part to Fuel Revenue Indexing-funded roadway projects and public works activities.
One successful outcome from the event came from the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) Local 13 who interviewed four people with whom they connected. Apprentices work for contractors during the day and attend class in the evening. They are paid and receive college credits upon completion. Seven different programs are offered and range from 15 months to three years to complete.
Timing for the first Expo was ideal. The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) projects the state will add 7,100 construction jobs this year, 8,800 in 2016 and an additional 10,800 jobs in 2017.
The RTC sponsored the expo with several community partners, including the Nevada Economic Development Coalition (NEDCO), American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the Associated General Contractors of Las Vegas (AGC) and Workforce Connections.
Representatives of the sponsoring organizations, along with Clark County Commissioner and RTC Chair Larry Brown, Clark County Commissioner and LVCVA Chair Lawrence Weekly, and Las Vegas Mayor Pro Tem Steve Ross, held the press conference just before the Mega Work Expo doors opened. Speakers highlighted the industries’ growth and the diverse opportunities now available for job seekers and subcontractors.
Hear first-hand how the Griffith family is benefitting from the recently completed Ft. Apache Bridges which provide access over the 215 beltway to thousands of residents in the area.