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January 25, 2015

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Henderson OKs funds to prepare for moving water, sewer lines

Proposed Boulder City bypass would force neighboring city to dig up pipes

Hoover Dam bypass bridge

If many in Boulder City have their way, traffic will be diverted from U.S. 93, above, around town. But a study has questioned the value of the project's first phase. Launch slideshow »

Railroad Pass

Boulder City’s hopes for a new bypass to route heavy traffic around the town are having financial ramifications in Henderson.

The Henderson City Council unanimously authorized $100,000 Tuesday night for city engineers to plan the relocation of about one mile of city water and sewer lines that would be displaced if the project becomes a reality.

The lines are buried beneath the median of U.S. 93 in the vicinity of the Railroad Pass casino and serve the casino and development in Henderson’s southeast corner, Henderson Department of Utility Services spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said.

The city plans to find a way to move the lines and place them beneath the frontage road on the west side of the highway.

Plans for the bypass’ first phase call for the Interstate 515 spur to be extended from Foothill Drive in Henderson to Railroad Pass and for the construction of an interchange at Railroad Pass.

The first phase has an estimated cost of $140 million; the entire bypass, which would take traffic south of Boulder City and along its east side to reconnect with U.S. 93 at the new Colorado River bridge that is under construction south of Hoover Dam, has an estimated budget of $500 million.

The state has received $34 million in federal highway funds for the project and has spent about $10 million on feasibility studies.

Though the studies have failed to prove a conclusive cost benefit for the project and an effort to raise additional funds through the legalization of toll roads died in this year’s Legislature, the push for the bypass is likely to continue.

Bypass proponents want the road because they say the completion of the new bridge will bring an influx of heavy truck traffic that will clog Boulder City’s stretch of U.S. 93, which serves as the city’s main thoroughfare.

Trucks have been banned from the Hoover Dam since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and have been driving around Boulder City and through Laughlin since then. The completion of the bridge, however, will reopen U.S. 93 in Boulder City to truck traffic.

Richards said Henderson’s plan to relocate the lines is a precautionary measure and there is no indication of when or if the work will happen.

“At this point, it’s just for phase one of the project, so I don’t have any data on whether or not the project is a go,” she said. “What we’re doing is preparing documents for that project to be able to go.”

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