LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – If you’re tired of dealing with cone zones between the Spaghetti Bowl and Sahara Avenue, then you’re in luck, because the project is almost halfway complete.
The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) recently celebrated one-year of construction on Project Neon, the nearly $1 billion, 3.7 mile-long widening of Interstate 15 between the aforementioned Spaghetti Bowl and Sahara Avenue in downtown Las Vegas. It marks the state of Nevada’s largest and most expensive public works project ever undertaken during its 152-year history.
“Project Neon is nearly 40 percent complete, recording roughly 400,000 man hours of work thus far without a recordable injury,” said NDOT project manager Dale Keller. “Meanwhile, the transformation of Martin Luther King Boulevard into an enhanced feeder-like roadway paralleling Interstate 15 is nearly complete,” said Keller.
Project Neon is creating 4,000 high-paying local jobs as well as numerous opportunities for federally certified minority and women owned businesses. Construction thus far has included:
-More than one mile of reinforced concrete box culvert for flood control.
-The longest sign structure in the state of Nevada.
-46 girders set, including the longest precast girders in the state of Nevada (168-foot long).
-607 tons of reinforcing steel, more than 5 times the steel used in the Statue of Liberty.
-6,342 cubic yards of concrete, enough to pave a 12-foot lane of concrete, 1-foot thick for 2.5 miles.
-43 structures demolished.
-More than 17 miles of utilities installed.
Project Neon will improve the busiest stretch of highway in Nevada with 300,000 cars daily, or one-tenth of the state population, seeing 25,000 lane changes per hour. Traffic through the corridor is expected to double by 2035.
The centerpiece of Project Neon is an 81-foot-tall, 2,606-foot-long High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) flyover bridge from southbound U.S. 95 to southbound I-15 that also accomadates northbound carpool traffic. The project additionally converts the two existing I-15 express lanes into a general purpose and HOV lane, thereby creating 22 consecutive miles of carpool lanes between I-15 and U.S. 95. The HOV lanes will allow carpoolers and rapid transit downtown Las Vegas access with the Neon Gateway Interchange between Charleston Boulevard and Oakey Avenue.
“Project Neon, upon completion in summer 2019, will reduce travel delays by 28 percent for a $110 million annual savings through increased productivity,” said NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon. “It will also improve air quality due to less idle time and car exhaust while enhancing motorist safety from reduced merge and weave traffic,” said Malfabon.
The project also creates a full diamond interchange at Charleston Boulevard for easier access to downtown, the Medical District and Symphony Park, and seveal “ramp braids” will reduce merge and weave traffic on Interstate 15. And there will be aesthetic and landscape upgrades, dynamic message signs and improved drainage, among other things.
NDOT wants to remind drivers to use caution when driving through any work zone, watch closely for construction signs, and take alternate routes if you can. Check the Project Neon website (NDOTProjectNeon.com) or Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages (@NDOTProjectNeon) for up to date information.