LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The first phase of the “Dropicana” project kicked off Tuesday night as the I-15 southbound off ramps to Tropicana Avenue closed down. This is the beginning of closures that will last days, or in some cases, months.

The project will remove and replace the flyover ramp. The current one is not tall enough for modern standards.

8 News Now spoke to nearby business owners about how they feel now that the project has begun.

Christopher Knecht owns Back to the 80’s Cafe & More which is located in University Square off of Maryland Parkway.

He said he fears “Dropicana” is going to be nothing but confusion for many of his out-of-town customers.

“I can’t imagine everyone trying to go through Flamingo that’s normally from Tropicana so it’s going to be hectic,” Knecht added. “A lot of our tourists are from out of the city. Some of them come from our location and having to find different routes, it’s hard as it is now. It’s gonna cause even more trouble to get here.”

Knecht said in the long run it will benefit the valley but in the short run, it’s going to be a real headache.

Employees at Leilani’s Attic told 8 News Now they aren’t worried about its impact on business.

“Most of our customer base, I don’t think they would be too affected by it, Makua Camarao graphic designer at Leilani’s Attic said. “Vegas is growing and it’s going to get bigger and bigger so them expanding the highway is good, it’s just going to be hard for people.”

As of Tuesday, southbound drivers on I-15 are no longer able to exit Tropicana in either direction. Those exits will be closed for a year. Drivers will need to use exits at Flamingo or Russell.

Then starting on Jan. 22, Tropicana over I-15 will be closed for eight days.

The whole project could last until 2025 and cost more than $300 million.
NDOT recommends drivers download the I-15Trop app or get information at this link which will have the most up-to-date information on construction.