About $140M in bonds to be sold to help finance Project Neon

A third and final round of state bonds will be sold to help pay for Project Neon, the $1 billion widening of Interstate 15 between Sahara Avenue and the Spaghetti Bowl interchange in downtown Las Vegas.

The Nevada Department of Transportation’s board of directors on Monday unanimously agreed to sell up to $140 million in bonds that will be repaid over 20 years at a 3.74 percent interest rate.

The state Transportation board agreed in 2014 to finance Project Neon with three separate rounds of bond sales. The first in 2016 garnered $200 million, followed by a $185 million issuance in 2017.

NDOT officials had originally expected to issue $180 million in bonds for the final round, but the figure was reduced when the agency received more state and federal funds than anticipated, said Robert Nellis, NDOT’s assistant director for administration.

“We’re seeing all these numbers on the page, but at the end of the day what it means is we’re using money more efficiently and we can build more projects faster,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval, who serves as chairman of the NDOT board.

“I think it’s pretty remarkable, as much that’s been done, that we’ve come to this last phase and we’re able to cut the bond by $40 million,” Sandoval said. “And, the project is on time and on budget.”

The latest round of long-term closures associated with Project Neon, known as the “Main Event,” kicked off last week with a significant slimming of traffic lanes along I-15.

During the weekend, U.S. Highway 95 was closed to through traffic between Martin Luther King and Las Vegas boulevards so that crews could demolish some freeway bridges along southbound I-15.

Rather than toss the rubble into a landfill, NDOT spokesman Tony Illia said the debris will be recycled and reused as fill-in material on other areas of Project Neon.

“NDOT is committed to sustainability and improving the environment,” Illia said.

Contact Art Marroquin at amarroquin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.

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