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Memorial Day traffic jams I-15 at California-Nevada border

Updated May 31, 2021 - 9:32 pm

Motorists traveling from Las Vegas to Southern California on Interstate 15 were facing lengthy delays Monday to cap off the Memorial Day weekend.

As of 3 p.m., it took drivers an hour and 44 minutes to get from Russell Road to the state line on the I-15, Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Ashlee Wellman said.

By late Monday, traffic cameras on I-15 still showed a mileslong backup near Primm. The Nevada Highway Patrol tweeted out a plea for patience from drivers navigating the traffic.

About noon, the Highway Patrol posted a video on Twitter and said, “Already 2 impaired drivers arrested and shoulder drivers are getting to meet our friendly State Troopers.”

“It will get worse throughout the day. To avoid traffic use SR160 to W Bell Vista Ave in Pahrump and catch route 127 in CA, that will bring you right into Baker. If you decide to use the 15, pack your patience,” the Highway Patrol said.

The Highway Patrol said in a tweet Monday night that the agency, along with the Metropolitan Police Department, had performed 252 traffic stops, 80 of which were shoulder or off-road violations. There were also seven crashes and five DUI arrests reported Monday.

By 9 a.m. the Regional Transportation Commission said the traffic backup was 16 miles and that drivers should “expect long delays.” Then, by 10:30 a.m., the backup had stretched to 26 miles, according to the RTC and traffic monitoring websites.

The Highway Patrol said slow traffic should be expected throughout the day and evening as thousands of tourists visited Southern Nevada over the three-day weekend. Many of those visitors from California arrived for the traditional kickoff to summer and the first big holiday since government and health leaders began lifting restrictions imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter. Review-Journal digital producer Marvin Clemons contributed to this report.

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