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Speed limit to return to 65 mph on stretch of I-15 in Las Vegas

Motorists traveling on Interstate 15 in the resort corridor will soon be able to drive faster than 55 mph on the stretch.

The speed limit on I-15 in the Project Neon project area will ramp back up to 65 mph in two weeks after being reduced by 10 mile per hour for the better part of the last three years, according to Tony Illia, Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman.

Illia did not have an exact date the speed limit would change aside from the two week timeframe.

The speed limit change will affect I-15 northbound from before the 215 Beltway to the Spaghetti Bowl and I-15 southbound from Owens Avenue to the 215 Beltway.

Returning the speed limit to its original rate comes as the nearly $1 billion 4-mile widening of I-15 between Sahara Avenue and the Spaghetti Bowl wraps up this month and the army of orange traffic barrels are mostly removed from the project’s scope.

The only remaining major work left to do tied to Project Neon is getting the active traffic management signs up and running.

There will be another 10 nights of single lane evening closures for work related to the active traffic management signs. There will be temporary speed reductions through the work zones, which will return to normal during the daytime travel hours, Illia said.

“The signs are all installed and now have permanent power,” Illia said. “Next, they must each undergo a standalone test, where the sign devices are tested individually, including the cabinets, CCTV, dynamic messaging signs, field hardened ethernet switches, flow detectors, and ramp meters, prior to being hooked up to the fiber network.”

The signs also must undergo “system acceptance testing” where they are tested remotely to ensure they’re operating and communicating with each other correctly. The testing, which is expected to begin in late August, requires 60 consecutive days of problem-free operation before going live.

“A major system error, however, could reset the entire 60-day process,” Illia said.

Once the system acceptance testing is complete the static speed limit signs will be replaced with digital signs tied to the active traffic management signs. The digital signs allow for increased real time traffic management, Illia said.

“They have the capability of dynamically changing speed limits, as needed, due to crashes or emergencies, among other things,” he said.

Spaghetti Bowl closure

A pair of Spaghetti Bowl freeway ramp closures slated for Tuesday night have been rescheduled, the Nevada Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.

Wednesday night – Thursday morning

— The I-15 north and southbound ramps to U.S. Highway 95 southbound will close to traffic from 10 p.m. Wednesday until 5 a.m. Thursday.

— The U.S. 95 southbound ramp to I-15 northbound will close to traffic from 10 p.m. Wednesday until 5 a.m.

The temporary closures are needed for painting and final lane striping as part of Project Neon.

Project Neon is 97 percent finished and scheduled for substantial completion later this month.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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