Project Neon: An Inventory of Motorist Benefits
LAS VEGAS, NEV. – As the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) concludes work on Project Neon – a nearly $1 billion, 4-mile-long widening of Interstate 15 between U.S. Highway 95 and Sahara Avenue in downtown Las Vegas – it’s taking inventory of the myriad of motorist improvements in addition to the new 20-mile-plus High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) network.
The 3-plus-year undertaking is the largest, most expensive public works project in state of Nevada’s 155-year history, creating 4,000 direct, indirect and induced local jobs. Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. was the design-build general contractor, with Atkins North America as lead designer.
Project Neon entailed 63 lane miles of concrete and asphalt paving, with 29 new bridges and 10 miles of drainage improvements. New north-south surface street connections reduce congestion and better provide downtown Las Vegas access, including connecting Western Avenue to Charleston Boulevard where it previously hit a dead-end. And a new bridge now carries Industrial Road over the Union Pacific railroad tracks between Wyoming Avenue and Charleston Boulevard.
Other upgrades include a new freeway on-ramp at Pinto Lane onto Interstate 15 southbound, plus an entirely reconfigured full diamond interchange at Charleston Boulevard with a new Interstate 15 northbound offramp that now enables westbound travel and direct access to Grand Central Parkway and Alta Drive/Bonneville Avenue. Martin Luther King Boulevard was revamped for improved north-south operations adjacent to Interstate 15, with an expanded Alta Drive intersection and new signalized connection to Wellness Way in the Medical District.
Additionally, the southbound U.S. Highway 95 offramp to Martin Luther King Boulevard was reconfigured for added lane capacity. Similarly, the Interstate 15 southbound offramp to Sahara Avenue received more space for westbound travel, and the U.S. Highway 95 southbound offramp to Rancho Drive was also rebuilt for added capacity, thereby reducing freeway backups.
The project addressed the state’s busiest stretch of freeway with 300,000 cars daily and 25,000 lane changes hourly. The upgrades, which include 42 Active Traffic Management signs (currently undergoing testing), greatly improve efficiency and reliability, reducing travel delays and improving air quality from less idle time and vehicle exhaust. There are motorist safety benefits, too, from less merge and weave traffic. The improvements are timely with traffic through the corridor expected to double during the next two decades.
For more information about Project Neon, visit the 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).