The largest public works project in the 155-year history of Nevada, Project Neon, is finally over.
A party featuring dignitaries like Nevada Sen. Jacky Rosen and Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., officially ended the “three years of hell,” as Titus jokingly described it.
Gov. Steve Sisolak called the project a critical investment that ensures the Nevada Department of Transportation meets the state’s growing infrastructure needs while creating thousands of good-paying local jobs that stimulate the economy.
“Project Neon greatly improves traffic congestion, motorist safety and commuter delays, thereby improving the quality of life for all Nevadans while improving visitor experiences to our state,” Sisolak said in a statement.
Project Neon’s main feature was enhancing nearly 4 miles of Interstate 15 between Sahara Avenue and the Spaghetti Bowl interchange in downtown Las Vegas. That’s the busiest stretch of highway in Nevada with 300,000 vehicles daily, with traffic through the corridor expected to double during the next 20 years.
Additionally, 22 miles of carpool lanes were created between I-15 and U.S. Highway 95.
Around 4,500 orange traffic cones and barrels, jokingly referred to as the “official state flower” by Southern Nevada residents, have since been plucked off the valley roads tied to the $ 1 billion project.
Those won’t go too far though as a bevy of projects are in varying stages around the valley where those will be planted ahead of the next traffic congestion hot spot.
Here’s a look at three projects from separate parts of the valley that total over $200 million and that will create road havoc ahead of a smoother, safer commute.
I-15 Starr interchange
A road project on a different section of I-15, this one at Starr Avenue in the south, is scheduled to finish next month.
The $34 million project creates a new interchange that goes beneath I-15 to reduce traffic noise for surrounding neighbors, while completing Starr Avenue between Las Vegas Boulevard to the east and Dean Martin Drive to the west.
The project is designed to relieve growing congestion at St. Rose Parkway and Cactus interchanges on I-15.
The simple-span, cast-in-place, post-tensioned box girder bridge is 200-feet-long-by-80-feet wide, making it one of the longest and widest bridges of its type in Nevada.
A ribbon cutting ceremony is slated for Sept. 18.
Centennial Bowl interchange
In the northwest valley, the latest phase of the Centennial Bowl interchange project is rolling on.
The $73 million project broke ground in January, removing a portion of the Oso Blanca Road ramp and the former north-to-west loop creating room for three new freeway flyover ramp connections.
Demolition work for this phase is finished, and the bridge scaffolding and formwork is underway.
Plans call for the state’s second longest bridge — the Interstate 515 Viaduct being the longest — including a 75-foot-tall concrete box girder structure.
The two-lane flyover bridge will connect north-to-west freeway traffic. Construction is scheduled to finish in the fall of 2021.
I-15/215 Beltway interchange
In North Las Vegas, the planned I-15/215 Beltway interchange project is expected to begin by year’s end.
The $100 million project, 95 percent funded by the federal government, calls for new ramps, flyovers and street connections to complete a system-to-system interchange configuration where the northern I-15 meets the 215 Beltway.
There will be I-15 southbound ramps for the Tropical Parkway interchange, which will utilize the existing I-15 northbound ramps, modified to work with new flyover ramps for the I-15/215 interchange.
The project will construct sections of Centennial and Tropical parkways to provide much needed connections for the area.
Construction is expected to finish in 2022.
Kyle Canyon Road restriction
Outdoor enthusiasts looking to take in a hike in the cooler weather up at Mount Charleston should pack their patience along with their gear.
There are ongoing lane restrictions along Kyle Canyon Road, north of Echo Road, due to slope and tree cutting, according to Tony Illia, NDOT spokesman.
Traffic is down to one lane and controlled by flaggers during business hours and by a temporary traffic signal during non-business hours and weekends, Illia said.
“We were notified by the Mount Charleston Town Board about some traffic concerns,” he said. “We have made an adjustment to the traffic signal last Friday to add more time to the green light for the weekend.”
The adjustment seems to have worked as feedback has been the traffic in the area is running more smoothly, Illia said.
This restriction is expected to continue through Sept. 10.