Why is construction on Blue Diamond Road taking so long?

Why is construction on Blue Diamond Road taking so long?

By Molly Waldron. CREATED Feb 23, 2012

 Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Adding new lanes is supposed to make it easier for people to use a road, but some people in one southwest Valley neighborhood say the new lanes on part of Blue Diamond are making things worse.

Marline Pikus says getting in and our of her neighborhood has become a hassle lately. 

"We used to be able to make a left hand turn into Quarterhorse, but now they've blocked that," Pikus said.

The Nevada Department of Transportation started widening Blue Diamond Road from Durango to Red Rock Canyon Road a few months ago. The two-lane road is now four lanes, with a raised median in the center. Residents say that median is the problem.

"Access is blocked, and it's a question of safety," Pikus said. "You have to have roads in and out of a development. You can't just have one access road for all of these people."

Residents say they're not only frustrated about the lack of access, but also by the fact that construction seems to have stalled.

Crews haven't been seen working for a few weeks, even though the pavement hasn't been smoothed out and there are still cones blocking off traffic lanes.

Action News contacted NDOT, and they said crews actually finished work ahead of schedule. They say they can't lay the final pavement until the weather is warmer. To ease drivers' frustrations in the meantime, they're going to do what's called an "open grade" to smooth out the surface.

As for the access, they say their engineers did traffic studies in the area before they decided to build the median. They say even though it will take some getting used to for the drivers, traffic will eventually flow better with the added lanes on Blue Diamond.

Because traffic can only go one way in and out of Quarterhorse Lane now, more cars are using El Capitan, which is the next street over.

NDOT says they are working with the county, and looking into the possibility of adding a traffic light there or at Ft. Apache to help with safety. No decision has been made yet.