Summerlin Parkway: A New Chapter for The Road to Nowhere
By Randy Ecklund
Perhaps you were fortunate enough to arrive here in those early days or maybe you have just heard some stories. Thirty or so years ago there was a new road connecting off I-95 that would take you west to some new project just getting started named Summerlin. No rooftops yet, no schools, no parks, no businesses, no families, just new lives and memories waiting to be created on thousands of empty desert acres at the end of what many were calling The Road to Nowhere. Those first residents didn’t arrive in buckboards, but many felt like pioneers none-the-less. And for the early planners, today’s Summerlin was just a vision in the making. Back then, Summerlin Parkway would take you as far as Town Center Drive. You had to get off there because there was nothing West. You had to turn north because there was nothing South. Simply amazing if you step back to think of all that has become here in Summerlin since.
For the next few decades, Summerlin Parkway was the maintenance responsibility of the City of Las Vegas. In particular, the parkway landscape improvements, supporting irrigation system and occasional accent lighting. Eventually the Summerlin Parkway was extended from Town Center Drive west to the soon-to-be-arriving I-215. By this time, The Summerlin Council was in existence. Recognizing the apparent challenges the City seemed to be encountering with the care of Summerlin Parkway landscape improvements, The Summerlin Council agreed to maintain the landscape along the newest leg of the parkway. The Summerlin Council also adopted maintenance of the turf areas making up the Summerlin Parkway entryway monument area at Rampart.
I share this history because Summerlin Parkway landscape care and design is presently undergoing some major changes. Perhaps you have noticed. First, the areas east of Town Center Drive, whose care for decades was provided by City of Las Vegas, are now the maintenance responsibility of Nevada’s Department of Transportation. They clearly have some challenges ahead of them and we are attempting to figure out how we can help them succeed. Secondly, it seems an opportune time to also reimagine and renovate Summerlin’s “front door” at the parkway monument area. The new redesign is intended to embrace today’s prudent water conservation measures while also planning for the eventuality that traffic lanes will someday replace the existing median(s). We will keep you apprised of the ongoing progress on both fronts. In the meantime, please pardon the dust and disruption while we help “fine tune” portions of The Road to Summerlin. Thanks and stay safe!