LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Motorists have another reason to be thankful this holiday season. The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) announced that “The Big Squeeze” will finish nearly two months ahead of schedule. The U.S. Highway 95 north bound lanes between Rancho Drive and the Spaghetti Bowl interchange will open by 6 a.m. Wednesday, November 22, in downtown Las Vegas.
“We are excited about reopening this busy, crucial stretch of freeway nearly two months early, prior to Thanksgiving and ‘Black Friday,'” said NDOT spokesman Tony Illia. “It will create a tangible economic boon for local businesses along the project corridor, providing improved access and enhanced mobility during the busiest shopping days of the year,” Illia said.
“The Big Squeeze” restricted U.S. Highway 95 to two travel lanes in each direction between Rancho Drive and the Spaghetti Bowl interchange since March 20. The 24/7 closures were needed for roadway improvements related to Project Neon, a nearly $1 billion 3.7-mile-long widening of Interstate 15 from the Spaghetti Bowl interchange to Sahara Avenue. Design-build general contractor Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. earned over $5 million in bonuses for early completion of this interim phase.
Meanwhile, the south bound U.S. Highway 95 to Interstate 15 north bound ramp will remain closed into late 2018. It was originally planned to open with the completion of “The Big Squeeze,” but close again in early 2018. As such, the ramp will remain closed so that the contractor can work straight through without interruption, finishing sooner as a result. It’s also less confusing for motorists than closing, reopening, and closing again since there are already are so many moving parts associated with Project Neon. The contiguous closure simplifies things, letting drivers become better acclimated with the traffic movements, while expediting work progress.
Motorists should use caution while travelling through any work zone, watch for construction signs and take alternate routes if possible. Check the Project Neon website (NDOTProjectNeon.com) or Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages (@NDOTProjectNeon) for up to date information. There is also a free smart phone app available, plus a hotline available in both English and Spanish at: 702-293-NEON (6366). NDOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but unscheduled construction changes, closures and restrictions are possible due to weather or other factors.