LAS VEGAS, NV – This week, work has begun on the construction of a new pedestrian bridge over the famed Las Vegas strip, a project that city officials say will help to deal with the increased foot traffic that has been drummed up with increased tourism over recent years.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held this week, which was attended by local city officials and representatives, signaling the official kick-off of work on the elevated crosswalk.
The bridge, which is expected to take approximately nine months to complete from start-to-finish, is expected to officially open in July of 2019; it will span the Las Vegas Strip between the Showcase Mall and Park MGM casino hotel at Park Avenue.
The reason for the bridge, according to Clark County Commissioner Jim Gibson, is that the area regularly has over 11,000 pedestrians at any given time, and the new bridge will afford them a way to more safely traverse the traffic-heavy boulevard.
Currently, there are 16 pedestrian bridges on the Las Vegas Strip, with the original two first built in the mid-1990’s where Las Vegas Boulevard South and Tropicana Avenue intersect; the last bridge was constructed and opened in 2012 at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue.
Local residents have been expressing their approval of the new addition to the Boulevard, with many expressing frustration at the difficulty of crossing the busy roadway in a timely fashion. The new pedestrian bridge, many say, is a welcome addition, although more are needed to truly address the problem.
In addition to creating smoother and faster access for pedestrians to cross the busy Boulevard, reports indicate that the new pedestrian bridge should also assist with traffic congestion as well. With the difficulty in crossing the street on the Las Vegas Strip, many pedestrians tend to jaywalk or dodge traffic to get across, often tying up traffic in the process. In addition, intersections often get congested as well, with pedestrians continuing to cross even after traffic lights have turned red.
No lane closures are expected on the Las Vegas Strip during construction; restrictions may occur at points, however.
Funding for the construction of the new pedestrian bridge comes from Las Vegas’ hotel room tax, with the city taking approximately one percent off the top for the project; in addition, the tax also funded a series of sturdy, short, vertical posts installed along the Las Vegas Strip that contribute to pedestrian safety.
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