Major road project underway on Highway 160 near Pahrump

Travelers, commuters and those looking to spend a day in Las Vegas might have something to contend with coming this month: roadwork.

The Nevada Department of Transportation announced in July that construction would begin on a nearly $59 million project that would widen Highway 160 between mile marker 16 and 22, which is an area that starts on the eastern side of Mountain Springs and stops at that town’s western edge.

Signs of road construction were already prevalent in the first week of September in the mountain pass with large, orange-and-white-colored barrels, electronic signs and heavy equipment in place in and near the Mountain Springs area.

Other work will include a rebuilding and paving project on Highway 160’s eastbound lanes toward Las Vegas from about the Nye County line to the western edge of Mountain Springs, NDOT stated in a news release.

A spokesman for NDOT said in an email that work is set to occur segmentally. As of Wednesday, signs of road work could be seen in the mountain pass area.

“This vital southwest valley corridor serves as a crucial link between Las Vegas and Pahrump,” said NDOT spokesman Tony Illia in a news release. “Rapid development, additional residents, and increased travel has ratcheted the need for freeway improvements. This project, as a result, will expand capacity and enhance motorist safety while also improving mobility and reliability.”

NDOT reported the cost of the project to be $58.6 million and will involve widening of Highway 160 for the six-mile section from two lanes to four through the mountain pass and on the east side of the hill. Aggregate Industries SWR was awarded the contract in July by NDOT’s board of directors.

The anticipated completion date for all the roadwork is August 2020.

The details of the work ahead include installing a five-mile-long raised concrete median barrier and installing new signage and flattening side slopes for safer turnouts where the highway is being widened.

Also, NDOT is planning to complete hydro-seeding on 28 acres and plant 784 new trees. On top of those efforts, the salvaging and replanting of more than 1,000 cactuses will occur.

“The Mountain Springs community, meanwhile, will receive new frontage roads, improved intersection lighting and an emergency signal for Clark County Volunteer Fire Station #79,” according to NDOT’s release.

Motorists will also see the installation of new cattle guards and a wildlife undercrossing at mile marker 18. Other efforts on fencing for wildlife will occur as part of the project.

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Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at