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Car-nado ending, but Big Squeeze continues in Spaghetti Bowl

Car-nado stuck around a little longer than expected, but the last remnant will blow out of downtown Las Vegas next week.

However, commuters will continue to endure The Big Squeeze’s painful pinch through the end of January.

The ramp linking southbound Interstate 15 to northbound U.S. Highway 95 will reopen in time for the morning commute at 6 a.m. May 9, the Nevada Department of Transportation said Tuesday.

Car-nado swept into Las Vegas on Oct. 26 as the first of three major closures within the larger Project Neon, a $1 billion effort to redesign and add traffic lanes along I-15 from the U.S. Highway 95 interchange to Sahara Avenue by July 2019.

Most of the work related to Car-nado wrapped up in February, but some extra time was needed to finish work on the 1,150-foot-long ramp connecting southbound I-15 ramp to northbound U.S. 95.

The 30-foot tall ramp was scheduled to open sooner, but crews would have needed to close it again shortly afterward, NDOT spokesman Tony Illia said.

“As a result, we opted to keep the ramp closed over a contiguous period to fast track work and eliminate confusion,” Illia said.

Construction crews are now solely focused on another area of the Spaghetti Bowl interchange. U.S. 95 lost a traffic lane in each direction between I-15 and Rancho Drive in March for a project that will last through the end of January .

Known as The Big Squeeze, plans call for splitting the U.S. 95 northbound and southbound lanes by roughly 70 feet. That will create enough room to build a new, 81-foot-tall flyover ramp for high-occupancy vehicles. The carpool ramp will have one lane for drivers headed from southbound U.S. 95 to southbound I-15 and another connecting northbound I-15 to northbound U.S. 95.

Lane closures along U.S. 95 will shift during various phases of construction over the next 10 months, affecting the roughly 219,000 vehicles using the impacted stretch of highway daily.

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

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