Las Vegas Sun

May 21, 2019

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Expect delays: I-15 project entering last big phase

The Big Squeeze Begins

Traffic is constricted by lane closures related to Project Neon, a nearly $1 billion, 4-mile-long widening of Interstate 15 from the U.S. 95 interchange to Sahara Avenue on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

Dubbed the Main Event, the final major phase of the Project Neon highway project will get underway next month, the Nevada Department of Transportation announced today.

The last big push, which begins March 6, will affect U.S. 95 and Interstate 15 and is expected to have a bigger impact on traffic than the two previous stages — Car-Nado and the Big Squeeze.

“We do anticipate that there will be delays,” NDOT Senior Project Manager Dale Keller said. “We condensed this into 10 short months out of a four-year contract.”

Project Neon is a nearly $1 billion, 4-mile widening of Interstate 15 from U.S. 95 to Sahara Avenue that began in 2016. It is 60 percent complete and expected to conclude in the summer of 2019.

The Main Event will include restrictions between Sahara and Washington avenues, a half dozen weekend closures of U.S. 95, ramp reductions and detours at the Spaghetti Bowl, and long-term ramp impacts at Charleston Boulevard, D Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard, Keller said.

“The closures are needed for building new freeway travel lanes, on- and off-ramps and 14 bridges,” Keller said.

Spaghetti Bowl ramp impacts include U.S. 95 south at northbound Interstate 15, which will continue to be closed through November, and the southbound U.S. 95 to southbound Interstate 15 ramp, which will be closed from March until November.

Other major ramp impacts along Interstate 15 include the Charleston Boulevard on-ramp to southbound I-15, which will be closed from February until October, and the Martin Luther King Boulevard to southbound Interstate 15/U.S. 95 ramp, which will be closed from March until December.

When completed, Project Neon is expected to reduce travel delays in the area by nearly 30 percent, Keller said.

“We’re going to be knocking out gridlock traffic,” he said. “This next 10 months is going to feature work around-the-clock, six days a week.”

The project is expected to improve safety by reducing merge and weave traffic. The area sees an average of 3.5 accidents a day, according to NODT.

The project also adds dynamic message signs that provide motorists real-time information about detours, accidents and traffic restrictions, NDOT spokesman Tony Illia said.

Major closures associated with the Main Event include:

Interstate 15 impacts March 6 to Nov. 20

• I-15 northbound and southbound will be reduced from four to three lanes in each direction from Sahara to Washington avenues and to two lanes near the Spaghetti Bowl.

March, April, May, July, August, September

• U.S. 95 northbound and southbound will be closed six weekends at the Spaghetti Bowl, with the first occurring March 9 to 12.

Spaghetti Bowl Ramp Impacts

Ongoing through December

• U.S. 95 southbound to I-15 northbound ramp closed.

March 3 through December

• U.S. 95 southbound to I-15 southbound ramp reduced to one lane and detoured.

Mid-March to mid-April

• U.S. 95 northbound to I-15 southbound ramp closed.

Local street impacts

Charleston Boulevard ramps

Ongoing through March 2

• I-15 northbound off-ramp to eastbound Charleston Boulevard closed-

Ongoing through March 6

• I-15 southbound off-ramp to Charleston Boulevard closed.

Ongoing through Oct. 10

• Charleston Boulevard on-ramp to I-15 southbound closed. Pinto Lane on-ramp opens March 6 to help alleviate traffic issues related with this closure.

Martin Luther King Boulevard ramps

March through December

Martin Luther King on-ramp to U.S. 95 southbound closed.

Martin Luther King on-ramp to I-15 southbound closed.

D Street ramps

March through July

•D Street on-ramp to I-15 southbound closed.

July through November

•I-15 northbound off-ramp to D Street will be closed.