Monday, July 8, 2013 | 2:38 p.m.
The state Transportation Board today approved a $697,550 contract for design services for the removal and replacement of 16 escalators at the Tropicana pedestrian bridges on Las Vegas Boulevard.
The two-year contract for the preliminary work was awarded to Jacobs Engineering Group of Las Vegas.
Transportation Director Rudy Malfabon said the state is putting up the money for the design. He said the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will pay for the $16 million construction. And he hopes the authority will repay the state for its up-front money.
The escalators are subject to high winds, high amounts of dust and dirt, and occasional rain. Replacement of some of the existing parts may not be available, the department said.
Malfabon said there is some talk about changing the directions of the escalators, but there has been no firm decision.
At its meeting Monday, the board also received a report on traffic fatalities, showing there were 128 deaths as of June 30 this year. Traci Pearl, chief of the Office of Traffic Safety, said that is five fewer than at the same time a year ago.
The Nevada Highway Safety Report, submitted to the federal government July 1, shows there were 258 fatalities in 2012, or 12 higher than 2011.
The report reveals a sharp increase in pedestrian deaths rising from 46 in 2011 to 61 in 2012.