I-15 Road Projects Causing Traffic Headaches - 8 News NOW

I-15 Road Projects Causing Traffic Headaches

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LAS VEGAS - A few construction projects are slowing traffic along Interstate 15. Three projects are under way, but transportation officials say the roadwork will help ease future commutes.

Crews are building a bridge on North 5th Street between Losee Road and E. Carey Avenue. The bridge will run over I-15. Construction will affect traffic between Lake Mead Boulevard and Cheyenne Avenue. According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, that project should be completed by the end of this summer.

The second project is the re-opening of F Street under I-15, which causes a shifting of lanes as drivers approach the construction area. F Street was closed in 2008. State lawmakers mandated in 2009 that it be re-opened – requiring a new bridge for that underpass. NDOT officials say drivers can expect traffic delays in that area for at least six to eight months.

Finally, crews are working on the Cactus Interchange project which will connect Cactus Avenue on both sides of I-15 and give drivers access to I-15 from Cactus. That project has a scheduled completion date of Spring 2015.

Learn More About NDOT's Construction Projects

Drivers wonder why all three undertakings are occurring at once. NDOT officials say these projects have been planned for years. Scheduling them simultaneously was not intentional.

"Pretty much all the projects on the I-15 deal with one of three things: safety, capacity, and improvements to transit," said NDOT spokesman Damon Hodge. "All three projects tie into those things - to add capacity to 15. It's a very heavily traveled corridor from the northern part of the valley to the southern part of the valley. We rely on it for the movement for goods and people and services."

Once those projects are completed, another one will begin. NDOT is launching one of its biggest projects ever: Project Neon.

Construction is expected to begin in 2015. NDOT is still in the acquisition phase, purchasing buildings and residences in order to move the project forward.

Project Neon will run from the Spaghetti Bowl to Sahara Avenue. It will create surface street improvement and link express lanes to HOV lanes to create a 22-mile express system.

NDOT officials say they want to complete this project in a safe and timely manner to create a free-flowing freeway.

"You have roughly a quarter-million vehicles that use that stretch between Sahara and the Spaghetti Bowl every single day," Hodge said. "It's like a three point seven mile stretch. About a quarter million vehicles use that stretch every single day, so it's easily the most heavily trafficked corridor in the entire state, and we project in twenty years, traffic will double."

NDOT is still working on financing Project Neon. Officials do not have an exact date for the start of construction, but it will be sometime in 2015.

In the meantime, drivers are advised to take surface streets and avoid the highway during construction. That will save time during the commute. If you have to take I-15, give yourself extra time to allow for construction-related traffic delays.

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