Nevada was awarded $9.8 million in federal grants for improvements on a pair of bridges along U.S. Highway 95 in Las Vegas.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the grants Thursday, which are part of $225 million distributed to 18 states via the Competitive Highway Bridge Program.
The money going to Nevada will be used to improve two U.S. 95 overpasses, at Desert Inn Road and at Eastern Avenue.
“The Desert Inn crossing has a poor condition bridge deck, while Eastern Avenue’s superstructure remains in poor shape,” Illia said. “However, both bridges are still repairable due to previous infrastructure investments. The department dedicated about $12 million toward bridge preservation during fiscal years 2017-18.”
The Desert Inn bridge averages more than 150,000 vehicles per day, while the Eastern Avenue crossing sees more than 130,000 vehicles per day, according to the department.
The bridges are crucial because the highway is one of three candidates for the future Interstate 11 corridor through the Las Vegas Valley, Illia said.
“I-11 will be a high‐capacity, limited access transportation link supporting regional, national, and international trade, connecting Mexican ports and manufacturing areas with Canada while traversing Nevada’s largest manufacturing and economic activity centers,” he said.
The department is working to secure additional funding for the estimated $17 million project, Illia said, and a timeline hasn’t been set.
Grants for each of the 20 projects selected nationwide must be used for highway bridge replacement or rehabilitation projects on public roads that bundle at least two highway bridge projects into a single contract for increased efficiency.
“The projects funded under the program will serve as models for similar bridge improvement projects throughout the nation,” Federal Highway Administrator Nicole Nason said in a statement. “They are examples of how to achieve time and cost savings through innovation.”