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Drivers beware: Dropicana 2.0 to close I-15, Tropicana for several days

Updated February 12, 2024 - 2:42 pm

Dropicana 2.0 is scheduled to begin this week, and like the first version, major traffic implications will affect motorists’ commutes in the Las Vegas resort corridor.

Part of the massive $305 million Interstate 15-Tropicana Avenue project, the second Dropicana iteration aimed at revamping the Tropicana Avenue bridge over I-15, will involve multiday closures of both roadways in February, the Nevada Department of Transportation announced last week.

From 9 p.m. Feb. 14 to 5 a.m. Feb. 20, Tropicana Avenue between Dean Martin Drive and the New York-New York resort will be shut to traffic due to crews tearing down the southern portion of the bridge and readying a diverging diamond interchange that will be altered ahead of Super Bowl 58. This is similar to the work last year during the initial Dropicana phase, which saw the northern half of the Tropicana bridge demolished and replaced.

In the midst of the six-day Tropicana closure, I-15 also will be completely shut down to traffic in both directions between Russell and Flamingo roads. The full I-15 closure will take place between 9 p.m. Feb. 16 and 5 a.m. Feb. 19.

All freeway ramps located within that stretch will be closed to traffic during that 56-hour span.

Drivers who routinely travel on I-15 in the area are asked to plan ahead and travel on other north-south roadways. Using Waze and Apple Maps also can provide real-time directions during the closures.

Potential detours

Some potential north-south detours include the following, split up by location to the west or east of I-15:

— West of I-15 includes Buffalo Drive; Rainbow Boulevard and Jones Boulevard.

— Decatur Boulevard is also an option, but another road project is taking place on that roadway north of the 215 Beltway in the vicinity of the I-15-Tropicana project.

— East of I-15 includes the airport connector tunnel, Paradise Road, Eastern Avenue and Pecos Road.

— Las Vegas Boulevard is also an option, but that stretch of road is normally busy with Strip employees and visitors.

With I-15 a major artery for those traveling between California, Arizona, Utah and beyond, NDOT classifies the closure as a regional traffic event and not just a local one.

To that effect, NDOT has been working with transportation departments in neighboring states to ensure they use messaging boards to warn motorists of the closure well before the motorists enter Nevada.

The work begins Phase 3 of the I-15-Tropicana project, which will last through the fall.

When Tropicana over I-15 reopens on Feb. 20 a diverging diamond interchange will be in place, with all traffic being shifted onto the northern half of the bridge. Two lanes will be open on both eastbound and westbound Tropicana.

The I-15 southbound off-ramp to Tropicana eastbound and westbound will be open during Phase 3. The Tropicana eastbound and westbound on-ramp to I-15 northbound also will be open to motorists.

The following I-15 ramps will be closed during Phase 3:

Tropicana eastbound and westbound on-ramp to I-15 southbound.

— The I-15 northbound off-ramp to Tropicana eastbound and westbound.

— The I-15 southbound flyover to Tropicana eastbound.

— The I-15 northbound ramp access to Arena Drive.

More roadwork to come

The I-15-Tropicana project kicked off in 2022 and is scheduled to run through mid-2025.

The project is addressing several areas along the stretch to improve traffic flow and vehicle and pedestrian safety. Tropicana will be widened from three lanes to four in both directions between Las Vegas Boulevard and Polaris Avenue.

Included is the replacement of the Tropicana bridge over I-15 and the reconstruction of a portion of the flyover from I-15 southbound to Tropicana eastbound.

The sidewalks on Tropicana in the stretch will be widened to 10 feet. Enhancements of I-15 on- and off-ramps at Tropicana are also planned. Dean Martin will be realigned under Tropicana, aimed at increasing traffic flow. With the I-15 exit to Frank Sinatra Drive scheduled to be widened to two lanes.

Ten new dynamic messaging boards also are being added to I-15 between Warm Springs Road and Tropicana, with pavement rehabilitation planned for that stretch to include 215 Beltway ramps.

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

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