Crews reinforce Mt. Charleston roads for floods as work faces early October deadline

Paving must be finished by early October for the work to properly “set.”
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 9:23 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Nevada road officials explained the crucial changes coming to Mt. Charleston roads once the public is allowed back up: reinforcements to prevent catastrophic flood damage.

An official with the Nevada Department of Transportation said paving must be finished by early October for the work to properly “set.” Completion will allow for tourists to come during ski season, and for thousands of cars to once again go up the mountain to the popular areas.

Mt. Charleston residents like the “Mountain Man” shared the progress on social media with folks down in the Las Vegas Valley, and noticed boulders along the roadside.

Crews have hauled thousands of tons of boulders up the mountain over the past few weeks.

“Our roads were certainly built to be able to withstand normal flooding, This was really a 100-year flood event. What we’re doing is taking the opportunity during this emergency contract to make sure that we build back even stronger,” said Justin Hopkins with NDOT.

“We’re bringing in large boulders. Those are put up against the road. They are meant to absorb some of the volume and force of the water that would normally come against that and disperse it long enough, so you don’t get a prolonged, intense sustained flow of water,” Hopkins said.

Crews are also working under the surface to improve drainage, to prevent water from tearing up the roads.

“They are actually installing some drainage underneath the roadway so that when the water does encounter the roadway, it doesn’t just pull up, but it actually has the opportunity to run under in a controlled fashion,” Hopkins said.

Construction on Deer Creek Road will not begin until sometime in 2024, Hopkins said. Water created a 100-foot hole on the side of the mountain.

Even when some roads reopen to the public, Hopkins reminds residents that some popular hiking areas will remain closed due to extensive damage.

The U.S. Forest Service has a federal order for everyone but first responders, road crews and residents to stay away from damaged areas. Federal officials will lift restrictions once roadwork is completed.