Construction on the Henderson spaghetti bowl now has a projected start date.
Crews will begin the $350 million-$400 million overhaul of the Henderson interchange in late summer of 2024 on the section of roads where the 215 Beltway, U.S. Highway 95 and Lake Mead Parkway meet, according the the Nevada Department of Transportation.
“This is one of the more significant interchanges in the Las Vegas Valley serving a number of commuters and travelers every single day,” NDOT project management chief Nick Johnson said during the department’s board of directors meeting last week.
Construction on the interchange is expected to take place through the end of 2026. The overhaul is needed to address traffic and safety improvements.
After the original Henderson interchange was completed in 2006, population across the Las Vegas Valley has spiked, with more than 800,000 more residents calling the area home today. With that population growth, traffic has also increased and the 17-year-old interchange is ripe for an upgrade.
A 2020 study revealed that 191,000 vehicles traveled through the intersection daily, with that volume expected to jump to 289,000 by 2040, according to NDOT.
“The demand on our system, even specifically at this interchange, is outpacing the capacity for which it was originally designed for and is needing some improvements,” Johnson said.
The purpose of the project is to improve travel time and the reliability of the interchange by reducing congestion, Johnson noted. It also will address existing issues with the interchange design to make it safer.
“About three or four years ago the department and the city of Henderson recognized the need for improvements to this interchange,” Johnson said.
It will be a design-build project, allowing construction crews to get to work on the project once the design reaches 70 percent completion. NDOT and Henderson officials will choose among Ames Construction, Kiewit Infrastructure West and Fisher Sand and Gravel to carry out the project.
The design-build contract will be awarded in the spring of next year.
The preliminary design of the project includes a crossover-style interchange. Only two other similarly designed interchanges can be found in the U.S. — one in Maryland and one in Alabama.
“That’s intended to get the major movements flowing between the interstates more efficiently,” Johnson said.
Access to Gibson Road and Auto Show Drive from U.S. 95 would be restored with braided ramps as part of the project, after that access was eliminated during a 2019 restriping project. Also as part of the project, vehicle access to Gibson will be restored for motorists heading west on Lake Mead Parkway.
Auxiliary lanes will be added to sections around the interchange to minimize conflict points. “To keep traffic going through and to improve the safety for the traveling public,” Johnson said.
A total of 27 bridges are within the project’s scope, with 22 of those slated to remain in place or be rehabilitated with the revamp, with five of those bridges set for demolition. The project will see 11 additional bridges built around the area, bringing the future total of bridges at the interchange to 33.
“There is a lot of bridge work on this job and even trying to maintain the traffic while doing so, there’s a lot of complexities and that’s why we chose a design-build method for this project,” Johnson said.