Las Vegas May Go Underground

A 15-point plan for transportation improvements has been unveiled by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada. The improvements would take anywhere from one to 20 years to be fully implemented.

After two and a half years of planning and meetings, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada has unveiled a 15-point Transportation Investment Business Plan. The committee, appointed by Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter looks to address how Southern Nevada can tackle the resort corridor gridlock.

Part of the plan includes a light-rail subway system which would run underneath Las Vegas Boulevard. Another high-priced project includes a double-deck tunnel under McCarran International Airport, which would connect Russell Road to the west of the airport.

Ralenkotter brought in committee representatives from organizations such as The Nevada Resort Association, the Transportation Commission and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, among others. He made sure to tell the members they needed to not bring any self-interests with them, but rather to look at what would be better for the city as a whole.

The policy changes have been lumped into near-term, midterm and long-term improvements. The near-term would take effect in one to five years, and include improvements such as exploring the possibility of additional taxi staging areas at McCarran International Airport and major resorts. Additional fixes being looked at are pedestrian bridges along the Strip, widening of sidewalks and creating pedestrian walkways between resorts, and getting rid of the “super blocks” on Las Vegas Boulevard.

The midterm improvements, which would take between five to 10 years of implementation, include an extension of the Las Vegas Monorail and the airport people-mover. The committee also wants to build transit connecting the airport, UNLV, downtown Las Vegas, and many centers in between.

Other building includes a new U.S. Highway 95 and Maryland Parkway/13th Street exit and a Multimodal Transportation System hub at Hacienda Avenue adjacent to McCarran International Airport to interface public transit, private transportation and the airport’s people mover.

Long-term improvements, which would take 10-20 years to implement, would feature an underground light rail from Hacienda Avenue to Sahara Avenue on Las Vegas Boulevard, an underground light rail connection to McCarran via Hacienda and an underground or street-level light rail running from Las Vegas Boulevard to downtown Las Vegas.