A now-completed $1 billion, four-mile-long widening of Interstate 15 between U.S. Highway 95 and Sahara Avenue in downtown Las Vegas is expected to reduce travel delays and improve air quality from less idle time and vehicle exhaust, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation – improvements the agency called “timely” as traffic through the corridor is expected to double during the next two decades.
[Above photo by the Nevada DOT.]
The three-plus-year undertaking is the largest, most expensive public works project in Nevada’s 155-year history, the Nevada DOT said in a statement – entailing 63 lane miles of concrete and asphalt paving, with 29 new bridges and 10 miles of drainage improvements.
New north-south surface street connections reduce congestion and better provide downtown Las Vegas access, the Nevada DOT noted, including connecting Western Avenue to Charleston Boulevard where it previously hit a dead-end. And a new bridge now carries Industrial Road over the Union Pacific railroad tracks between Wyoming Avenue and Charleston Boulevard, the agency added.
There are motorist safety benefits, as well, Nevada DOT added, especially from less “merge and weave” traffic – improvements made during the critical third and last phase of Project Neon, which began last April and were completed this year.
Project Neon addressed the state’s busiest stretch of freeway, one that carries 300,000 cars daily, witnesses 25,000 lane changes hourly, and features technology upgrades such as 42 Active Traffic Management signs – devices that are still currently undergoing testing.