Las Vegas Sun

September 21, 2018

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New signs, bridges, lane changes to greet commuters in crucial Project Neon stretch

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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.

As the final phase of Project Neon is set to get underway, transportation officials held the final public meeting Wednesday to update residents on the progress of one of the largest road projects in state history.

The nearly $1 billion road project is on schedule, sitting at 55 percent complete.

“It’s been a fast, exciting two years of construction,” said Dale Keller, Nevada Department of Transportation’s senior project manager. “The team has worked hard to minimize community obstructions.”

Seeing 300,000 vehicles travel through the area per day, with an average of 25,000 lane changes an hour, with three crashes occurring in the area each day, Keller said it’s a prime area for improvement.

More than 1 million man hours have been logged by 300 full-time construction workers, which does not include work hours of contractors or engineers.

So far, 13 of the 28 bridges planned in the project have been constructed, with the remaining 15 on scheduled to be built by year’s end. The HOV flyover bridge is about 60 percent complete.

The first Active Traffic Management signs will go live next month, with 14 of the 42 planned already installed. The first six will go live along U.S. 95 in February.

“This is new technology that’s very innovative,” Keller said. “They provide speed organization, lane control and other messaging to improve freeway operations.”

Work along the resort corridor on Interstate 15, from Sahara Avenue to Russell Road, related to installing ATM signs began this month and will last through early 2019.

The final phase, dubbed the Main Event, represents the most impactful and critical work of the entire Project Neon as it deals with I-15.

“It will have the most impact to the commuters, as well as everyone going around the Spaghetti Bowl,” Keller said

Mainline traffic impacts include I-15 from Sahara Avenue to Washington Boulevard, which will be reduced to three lanes in each direction, narrowing to two lanes each way near the Spaghetti Bowl for construction. The restrictions will last 250 days.

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

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

Other major ramp restrictions along I-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 I-15/U.S. 95 ramp, which will be closed from March until December.

In 2019 restrictions associated with Project Neon include work on the Grand Central Parkway/Industrial Road connection. The northbound Charleston Boulevard I-15 ramp will be affected from January-July 2019, where traffic will be detoured to the new Neon Gateway.

“After 2018, we'll take a deep breath and go into 2019 when impacts are more offline,” Keller said. “This is where we’re working with the local streets and making these new connections.”