Las Vegas Sun

November 20, 2018

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Final phase of Project Neon bringing biggest traffic headaches

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Nevada Department of Transportation

An artist’s rendering of northbound Interstate 15 approaching the Spaghetti Bowl after the completion of the Project Neon freeway project.

The final leg of the almost $1 billion Project Neon highway project will take center stage in March as the aptly named Main Event gets underway.

After NASCAR weekend, Interstate 15 from Sahara Avenue to Washington Boulevard will be reduced to three lanes in each direction, narrowing to two lanes each way near the Spaghetti Bowl for construction, the Nevada Department of Transportation said. The restrictions are set to last 250 days.

Weekend and night closures of U.S. 95 at the Spaghetti Bowl will take place intermittently between March and July.

With Interstate 15 being affected, the traffic impacts are expected to be worse than with the previous phases — Car-Nado and the Big Squeeze.

“Although each phase has its own unique challenges and impacts, the Main Event will affect mainline Interstate 15 traffic, which is always significant,” NDOT spokesman Tony Illia 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.

Outside of the Spaghetti Bowl, 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.

The latest ramp closure associated with Project Neon kicks off tonight, as the I-15 exit ramp to Charleston Boulevard will close for 45 days. The new off-ramp will open March 6.

Also, the first six of 52 active traffic management signs associated with Project Neon will go live in late February.

“The full-color, dynamic-message signs provide next-generation, real-time information to motorists about detours, accidents and traffic restrictions,” Illia said. “They can be programmed to inform motorists of lane closures and blockages that occur with traffic accidents or construction. Signs will show the status of every lane as motorists approach the Spaghetti Bowl.”

Three signs will be along southbound U.S. 95, between Valley View Boulevard and Rancho Drive, and three will be along the northbound lanes, from Las Vegas Boulevard to the Spaghetti Bowl, Ilia said.

Additionally, signs will be placed along I-15 near D Street, Washington Avenue, Bonanza Road, Desert Inn Road, Spring Mountain Road and Twain Avenue, and along U.S. 95 near Avalon Circle, Seventh Street, Casino Center Drive and City Parkway.

By the end of Project Neon, the signs will stretch as far as Silverado Ranch Boulevard along I-15.

The largest signs resemble auxiliary scoreboards found in ballparks and stadiums, measuring 13 feet tall by 77 feet wide, Illia said.

The installations will continue through July 2019 and require intermittent lane closures.