Background: The Boulder Highway Corridor connects Downtown Las Vegas, Henderson, and Lake Mead. The area of Boulder Highway between Gibson/Broadbent Boulevard to the north and Wagonwheel Drive to the south encompass Henderson's nearly 8-mile portion of the thoroughfare.
At one time, Boulder Highway was the only road to connect the downtowns of Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City. Throughout its history, it was a heavily traveled and vibrant corridor, lined with motels, casinos, and other businesses, and has several signalized and unsignalized access points along the route. The extension of the U.S. 95 freeway in the 1980s led to a slowdown in business activity along the corridor.
Despite this change, Boulder Highway remains a critical transportation corridor and was identified as a priority for the addition of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) provided by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada which has been implemented.
Adopted Boulder Highway Planning Initiatives to best position the corridor for current and future use:
- Southern Nevada Strong Regional Plan (SNS) - Boulder Highway Opportunity Site - Based on extensive public outreach, goals, recommendations, and policies developed through the first federally recognized regional plan adopted in 2015, the Boulder Hwy/Gibson Rd intersection was identified as an opportunity site for a catalytic project within the corridor. The SNS Regional Plan included the Boulder Hwy Opportunity Site Implementation Strategy focused on Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and pedestrian-friendly/landscaping design elements into the node.
- Henderson Strong Comprehensive Plan - Henderson's long-term vision, goals, and recommendations/policies for physical development and growth, including climate change and housing goals. Amended in 2022 to include land use designation changes that are supportive of TOD.
- Reimagine Boulder Highway - A Multimodal Transportation Investment Study describes the overall corridor transformation that includes right-of-way relinquishment, dedicated center-running transit lanes, potential for access lanes, dual cycle tracks, linear parks, additional mid-block crossings, sidewalks, and street-lighting, led by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) and finalized in 2020.
- RTC Onboard Mobility Plan - Finalized in 2020, the Plan describes investments/strategies designed to diversify regional travel opportunities and make it easier for people to get to work, which will support Boulder Highway TOD implementation through a BRT line.
- East Henderson Investment Strategy - Approved by City Council in 2020, the document identifies and guides projects serving the East Henderson Redevelopment Area and its neighborhoods (Union Village, Northwest Sunset, Pittman, Cadence, Valley View, and Boulder Highway South), all of which are within the study area of this planning priority area.
- Pittman Neighborhood Revitalization Plan - Accepted by City Council in 2017, the Plan sought to demonstrate a commitment to achieving better health outcomes for low-income residents in the historic Pittman neighborhood (adjacent to Boulder Highway).
- Henderson Development Code - Henderson's legal tool for enacting zoning and land use development. Includes provisions such as the affordable housing density bonus to support Henderson Strong's housing goals. Also amended in 2022 to include the same land use designation changes that are supportive of TOD at key locations.
Initiatives Currently Taking Shape
- Boulder Highway: Revitalize, Reuse, Renew Program - Using funds received from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfield Community-Wide Assessment Grant in 2016 and 2022, Henderson is conducting environmental assessments and site planning work on eligible properties in the area. The goal is to position property owners to easily market their vacant or underutilized properties, or repurpose them for a higher return on investment.
- INFRA - The City of Henderson was awarded $39.9 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program. This funding will help implement the City's vision for Boulder Highway by enhancing automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian safety, lighting, and drainage throughout the corridor. The City sees this project as a key catalyst for the redevelopment of a corridor that has long been a priority for the City.