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$100M Red Rock trail project moves forward with more funding

By Mick Akers

The $100 million-plus Red Rock Legacy Trail project received $1 million in federal funding to push the project toward becoming a reality.

During a news conference on State Route 159 on Friday, Rep. Susan Lee, Andrew Bennett, director of the Clark County Office of Traffic Safety, and Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman Justin Hopkins were on hand during a ceremonial check presentation.

The trail features plans for a shared-use pathway from Summerlin to Red Rock Canyon and to widen state Route 159 near Red Rock Canyon.

A fatal hit-and-run crash in 2005 that killed Las Vegas police officer Don Albietz while riding his bike near the canyon spurred the project idea.

“More than 3 million people visit Red Rock Canyon each year to take advantage of the scenery, biking, hiking, and climbing,” Lee said in a statement. “Along with increased tourism, we have work to do to ensure visitor safety, especially as many bikers and pedestrians share Route 159. With this new $1 million investment, we’re one step closer to completing the Red Rock Legacy Trail which will take bikers and pedestrians off the roadway and give them a safe place to enjoy our world class public lands.”

The project is a collaboration involving NDOT, Clark County and the Bureau of Land Management.

The final timeline for construction and the project budget are still to be determined, Hopkins said. In 2022, Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones said the project would be at least $100 million and take three-and-a-half years to complete.

“We’re navigating a complex timeline for the Red Rock Legacy Trail due to varying phases being at different stages of design, with some yet to commence,” Hopkins said in an email. “As a result, forecasting the total project cost remains challenging. The majority of funding earmarked is sourced from the federal and state government and the BLM. NDOT remains actively engaged to ensure any roadway safety enhancements complement the trail, alongside formalizing plans for designated parking areas.”

The BLM is the lead on the majority of the project, as most of the land in the Red Rock area is under the agency’s control.

Phase 1 includes adding a parking lot and traffic signal just west of West Tech School in Summerlin. A bridge will be built underneath an existing bridge in the area.

“It’s vital that we’re out here today to talk about this incredible piece of infrastructure that will make all of our road users safer,” Bennett said in a statement. “Clark County wants to take this opportunity to thank Congresswoman Lee for securing this additional funding. This was a vision that is now turning into a reality. The Red Rock Legacy Trail is not just a path, it truly is a gateway to our landscape.”