Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
June 18, 2015     Pahrump Mirror
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June 18, 2015

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MIRROR- Thursday, June 18, 2015 5 Roundabouts to break ground this summer y Genesee Martin Mirror Staff Two proposed roundabouts have been the topic of ;discussion for the last few years after the project was v introduced to the community in 2013. Planned for vthe intersections of Pahrump Valley Blvd. as well as ,Blagg Rd. and Hwy. 372, both areas have seen a high  number of accidents. While the community has nearly unanimously rejected the idea, the roundabouts have been looming with no plans or schedule provided un- 'til now. According to Tony Illia, Public Information Officer for the Nevada Department of Transportation '(NDOT) the project will break ground this summer but is not expected to be completed by fall of 2016. "We are planning to close the highway down to one t,lane of travel instead of diverting or rerouting," [Ilia told The Mirror on Tuesday, Juneg. "That's mainly "the reason it's going to take as long as it is. The two t'projects, which represent $3 .09 " million in construc- tion, will break ground this summer. The roundabouts -'are scheduled to finish by the fall of 2016." ' Illia explained, "Roundabouts are one-way circular iqntersections with a center island where traffic flows L'freely without stop signs or traffic lights. They're saf- *er and more efficient than traditional four-way signal- -qzed intersections. A roundabout has only eight points -of potential conflict for vehicle collisions; by contrast, four-way signalized intersections have four times as : many conflict points. The reason comes from the flow rof roundabout traffic, requiting vehicles to enter and exit using tight turns at reduced speeds. Lower round- e about traveling speeds allow for smaller gaps between circulating vehicles for increased traffic volume and fewer delays as well as better fuel consumption and J:improved air pollution. As a result, there are substan- tially fewer crashes than four-way traffic signals."  Illia also outlined a history of roundabouts in the ;,State of Nevada, saying that the feature was first introduced to Las Vegas in 1990. "They have since exploded in popularity," Illia added, stating that a transportation study had showed that roundabouts re- duced injury related crashes by 80 percent and were cost effective in that standard fees for electricity and --maintenance associated with traffic lights were non- riexistent, saving $5,000 annually. Illia reported that _.roundabouts come with 10-foot wide sidewalks and ican accommodate cyclists. "Ultimately, the round- abouts will make a great addition to Pahrump's trans- portation network, further improving mobility while also enhancing safety," Illia stated. The roundabouts have been a source of contention since being announced in 2013 and will be paid for with impact fees collected for improvements from t developers along the highway. NDOT officials ex- plained that the two intersections did not warrant traf- ::fic lights without a certain number of fatality crashes (,,and that if the county insisted on signal lights, the county would be on the hook for $2 million for each traffic signal. The county had nochoice but to use the impact fees to meet the NDOT match for roundabouts to be constructed instead, according to both NDOT and county officials. "We paid our part to NDOT several months ago, ,$450,000 each for a total $900,000," Nye County _'Planning Director Darrell Lacy told The Mirror on f Monday, June 8. "If we wanted to force stop lights we would be required topay the whole amount like ia t Homestead Rd. Estimate about $2 million each for ! stop lights. Because roundabouts are safer, lotsof data _ to support this, NDOT could use federal funds for im- il, proving safety. The Capitol Improvement Plan Com- nittee studied for a couple of years before making the Ldecision. Lacy explained that plans were scheduled to be unveiled in the fall while construction would J fbegin in December. The timeline conflicts with infor- 'imation provided by Illia. | Hwy. 372 is a direct route used by school buses which are headquartered on Hwy. 372 and Wood- chips Rd. to get students to the valley's four elemen- 14-month project due totraffic restrictions COMPLICATEDLY SAFE - The conceptual drawing outlines what a proposed roundabout would look like and how traffic would navigate the intersection of Hwy. 372 and Pahrump Valley Blvd. In the aerial picture, the roundabout eliminates portions of each corner of the effected intersection. tary schools, one middle and one high school. In ad- dition, the highway is also the valley's connector to California where a vast number of goods and supplies travel from on their way to other places or to service Pahrump's residents. ,'NDOT...said in the county meeting last month the schedule was to go out for bid in December," Lacy stated when asked about the project. Contact author Genesee Martin by emaUing