Delays Expected Along I-15 Near Primm - 8 News NOW

Delays Expected Along I-15 Near Primm

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PRIMM, Nev. - If you're heading to California this week, prepare for possible gridlock. A solar power construction project near Primm brought traffic along I-15 to a halt Tuesday, and more delays are expected.

Drivers expressed their frustration.

"That's crazy. I've got to be at work at like 3 o'clock," one driver said.

"We saw the signs, and we were like, 'It's going to be alright,'" traveler Terry Kaiwi said. "When we topped the hill way back here, I could see traffic all the way over the top of the hill like a parking lot."

"We were sitting there, moving really slow, and we were wondering what was going on," said traveler Nashira Madison. "I was hoping it wasn't an accident."

It wasn't an accident. Southern California Edison is finishing a large solar power project the company says will power more than 200,000 homes in Los Angeles.

To finish the project, crews need to connect wires to Boulder City. Drivers should expect long delays near Primm all week, because the work can be delicate.

"Safety is number one when you're dealing with wires," said project manager Roger Schultz. "We've never dropped a wire on the freeway yet, but we don't want to be the first ones to actually cause an accident by dropping a wire."

Tuesday, a helicopter battled heavy winds and pulled cable across I-15 to connect electrical towers. Schultz said crews needed to stop traffic every 30 minutes as the chopper pulled the dangerous live wires.

"I don't know why it was stopped. It looked like traffic needed to merge over and continue on, but it shouldn't have been that bad, but it was still a solid twenty minutes," said traveler Eric Goldberg. "I left earlier to avoid traffic and everything. So, it was kind of a bummer to end up hitting that, but maybe a whole ‘nother lane of traffic would have been nice just to ease it up. I can't imagine coming out here on the weekend what it would be like."

While the helicopter is expected to be grounded Wednesday, workers still plan to narrow I-15 to one lane in each direction. The project is expected to last until Friday.

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