Before the Raiders Stadium being built near I-15 and Russell Road is completed in 2020, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done on the roads in the area to handle the influx of game day traffic.
But according to the Nevada Department of Transportation, this is just one of many road constructions on the agency’s to-do list.
Crews are still working on roads connected to Project Neon. On Thursday night, NDOT temporarily shut down Charleston Blvd at I-15 to traffic until Friday morning for bridge construction.
But as work for Project Neon gets closer to starting to wrap up in the next year, NDOT’s says it’s already looking ahead.
“Working on this nearly $1 billion, 4-mile long widening of I-15 between U.S. 95 and Sahara, the project is roughly 85 percent complete,” said Tony Illia, a spokesperson with NDOT. “We’ve recorded over one million man hours of work. We currerntly have 500 craft workers on site , working two shifts, two days a week.”
But when the work for Project Neon is done, the focus will shift to another major project down the interstate. NDOT plans to improve the I-15 Tropicana Interchange, and it’s an area that drivers say is in need of some help.
“I think we’re in for a world of hurt if there isn’t some adaptation and changes to that zone on I-15 south,” said Jeffery Mitchell, a local driver.
“It’ll roughly be a $200 million makeover and it’s really needed,” Illia said. “It’s really due to age and the geometry of the interchange doesn’t allow for more capacity so we’re going to completely reconstruct it.”
Illia says drivers can expect reconstruction of the bridge — new on and off ramps — and a re-configuration of the Tropicana exit.
“So there’s more traffic, more people, more development and activity and with that we need to make that commitment to infrastructure investment,” Illia said.
An investment he adds was planned before the Raiders announced their move to town. But with more people on the road — a new stadium and T-Mobile Arena nearby, many say it’s a necessity.
“With all the traffic from that stadium, we definitely need to improve the infrastructure there,” Mitchell said.
NDOT is in the process of a federal and environmental impact study, and once that’s complete, construction can start. Illia anticipates that beginning in about three years.
NDOT says if rumers are true about a possible MLB stadium near the Strip, the department would have to look at plans before making decisions.