The Las Vegas Stadium Authority sent a letter in support of a planned major road project slated to improve access to various points of interest, including the new stadium.
The Nevada Department of Transportation applied for an Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant with the U.S. Department of Transportation, looking to secure financial aid for the planned $200 million Interstate 15-Tropicana Avenue interchange project.
NDOT is seeking $60 million through the grant it applied for on March 3, department spokesman Tony Illia said. The Regional Transportation of Southern Nevada and Clark County sent similar letters of support with the application, Illia said.
Plans call for the reconstruction of the interchange, including a diamond on-ramp and offramp configuration with a flyover at Tropicana Avenue, according to NDOT. The project is aimed at increasing traffic flow in the area, which sees 320,000 vehicles travel on I-15 and 86,000 vehicles travel on Tropicana daily, according to the letter.
“This is one of the most important (yet congested) interchanges in Nevada and continues to serve as the southern gateway to the Las Vegas resort corridor and the most important economic engine in the state,” stadium authority Chairman Steve Hill said in the letter.
Hill said the interchange serves as critical access to T-Mobile Arena and the stadium, calling them “major contributors to the future of the Las Vegas tourist economy.”
Despite the importance the planned project would play in the flow of traffic going in and out of the $1.8 billion, 65,000-seat stadium’s area, plans show the project won’t start until 2021 — a full year after the stadium opens — and won’t be completed until 2024, according to NDOT.
Not only does the stretch of interstate benefit Southern Nevada, Hill said, the highway serves as a primary transcontinental movement route, providing a critical link to multiple major highways and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
“Without these improvements, both I-15 and Tropicana Avenue will continue to incur severe congestion resulting in negative impacts to motorists and critical freight traffic, degrading the reliability to move goods through the region,” Hill said. “The much-needed interchange reconstruction project will reduce congestion, decrease travel delays, eliminate conflicts between through and local traffic and improve air quality.”
At Thursday’s meeting, Stadium Authority board member Mike Newcomb requested an update on all stadium-related infrastructure projects at a future meeting. Hill said that probably would take place at one of the next two meetings and would include an update on the stadium parking plan.
The initial plan, unveiled in September, included four off-site parking lots from which fans would be shuttled back-and-forth to the stadium. Raiders President Marc Badain said then it would be an ongoing process and probably would evolve over time.