Progress slow on I-15 express lanes

Constructing express lanes to ease congestion on Interstate 15 has been a bumpy ride for the Department of Transportation, which hopes to make motorists’ commutes a little smoother by opening completed stretches.

The express lanes are designed to guide motorists from Sahara Avenue to the Las Vegas Beltway without interference from merging traffic.

When the project is finished, tubular markers will separate two express lanes from those lanes from which motorists can exit along the way. It will be illegal for motorists to leave the lanes before the end of the express zone.

Rather than wait for the completion of the project, Department of Transportation engineers have decided to allow motorists to use the express lane stretches that are traffic-ready.

"In order to make it easier on traffic, we will reopen these lanes," said Mary Martini, an engineer with the Department of Transportation.

Express lanes are not reserved for high-occupancy vehicles, so even a car with just a driver and no passengers can use them. They are designed to scoot traffic past a five-mile stretch of exits and on-ramps. And they are expected to speed things up for motorists simply passing through town, such as commercial truck drivers.

The project has been under way for months, but the Transportation Department ran into snags below the railroad crossing near Spring Mountain Road.

Transportation officials hope opening some of the express lanes will ease traffic on Interstate 15 while crews fix the lanes below the railroad bridge.

Starting next week, Interstate 15 southbound from Sahara to Spring Mountain will consist of an express lane and three lanes for general traffic. From Spring Mountain to the Las Vegas Beltway, motorists will have two express lanes and three lanes for general use.

Northbound, one express lane and four lanes for general traffic will be available from the Beltway to Spring Mountain. From Spring Mountain to Sahara, there will be five general purpose lanes and no express lane.

For now, the express lanes will be marked by solid, double white lines, and they will be enforced by Nevada Highway Patrol officers.

The express lanes were expected to open this fall. Now Martini is reluctant to say when they will be fully operational.

"If all goes well, we’ll be looking at March or April," she said. "I don’t want to tell the public such and such. The worst-case scenario would be several months from now."

During construction, crews working on the $21.5 million project have hit several trouble spots, including running into more groundwater than anticipated.

The project includes widening Interstate 15 and building new footings to support the railroad bridge.

Concerns about the water’s effect on the safety of the railroad prompted representatives from the Union Pacific Railroad Company, based in Omaha, Neb., to visit the site on numerous occasions.

"They need to be sure what we’re doing is safe," Martini said, adding that all of the work has to meet the railroad company’s standards.

Also, the project was delayed when crews unexpectedly ran into fiber optic cables near the railroad crossing.

Adding to the continuing delays is that work must stop each time a train passes, which is at least four times a day, Martini said.

The opening of the express lanes does not mean the freeway will finally be congestion-free.

About the same time the lanes are expected to open, work will start on the south Interstate 15 project.

That project will include new streets flanking the interstate, similar to frontage roads, and the construction of a new interchange at Blue Diamond Road, extending Sunset Road over the freeway and widening the Warm Springs Road bridge.

During that project, which is expected to be finished at the end of 2011, traffic will be disrupted between Tropicana Avenue and Blue Diamond Road.

Contact reporter Adrienne Packer at or 702-387-2904.

Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Public memorial service for Jerry Herbst
Archiving effort hits milestone at Clark County Museum
The Clark County Museum catalogs the final item from the bulk of Route 91 Harvest festival artifacts. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Final Route 91 Harvest festival remembrance objects catalogued at Clark County Museum
The last of the more than 17,000 items left at the makeshift memorial near the Las Vegas sign after the Oct. 1 shootings have been catalogued at the Clark County Museum in Las Vegas. The final item was a black-and-white bumper sticker bearing "#VEGASSTRONG. An additional 200 items currently on display at the museum will be catalogued when the exhibit comes down. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Grand Jury Indicts Constable for theft
A Clark County grand jury indicted Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. A Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation prompted the criminal probe. The newspaper found Mitchell wrote himself thousands in checks, took out cash at ATMs and traveled on county funds. He faces four felony counts of theft and a county of public misconduct. Mitchell and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
93-year-old WWII veteran arrested during visit to VA hospital
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, 93, a World War II veteran, talks about his arrest during his visit to VA hospital on Friday, Nov. 30. (Erik Verduzco Las Vegas Review-Journal @Erik_Verduzco_
Pearl Harbor survivor struggles in her senior years
Winifred Kamen, 77, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor as an infant, works a 100 percent commission telemarketing job to make ends meet. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Catahoula dogs rescued from home in Moapa Valley
Catahoula dogs were brought to The Animal Foundation after being rescued from home in Moapa Valley.
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses in California wildfire
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses she suffered in California's Woolsey Fire in Malibu in November. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benefit dinner for Kerry Clasby, the Intuitive Forager
Sonia El-Nawal of Rooster Boy Cafe in Las Vegas talks about having a benefit for Kerry Clasby, known as the Intuitive Forager, who suffered losses on her farm in California’s Woolsey Fire in Malibu. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former President George H.W. Bush dies at 94
Former President George H.W. Bush has died at the age of 94. He died Friday night in Houston, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara.
Las Vegans Celebrate Big Snowfall
Las Vegans celebrate big snowfall at Lee Canyon.
Exploring old mines for denim jeans and other vintage items
Caden Gould of Genoa, Nev. talks about his experiences looking for vintage denim jeans and other items in old mines and other places areas across Nevada and the west.
Officers share photo of dead gunman after Las Vegas shooting
A little over an hour after SWAT officers entered Stephen Paddock's suite at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas police officers far from the scene were already sharing cell phone photos of the dead Oct. 1 gunman.
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece. (@FlightAlerts_)
Park Service plans ahead for lower lake levels
National Park Service releases new plans to maintain access to the water as Lake Mead continues to shrink.
Women claim abuse at Florence McClure Women's Correctional Facility
Current and ex-inmates, including Merry West, are suing Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Facility, claiming abuse and inadequate medical care. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Butte County Sheriff's Office Body Cam Footage
Bodycam video from Butte County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office Deputy Aaron Parmley, who was in Paradise November 8 helping with evacuations. (Butte County Sheriff's Office)
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 106
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 160, near Mt. Potosi Road, in Clark County as part of a $59 million, 6-mile-long highway widening project that began this summer. (Nevada Department of Transportation)
Car crashes into Papa Murphy's Pizza shop
A driver crashed a car into a western Las Vegas Valley pizza shop on Tuesday morning, police said. (Joe Stanhibel/Special to Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Low-lake-level pumping station nears completion
Barnard Construction and the Southern Nevada Water Authority give one last tour before the new low-lake-level pumping station is activated.
Trailer: Valley of Fires
Sultan’s Playroom from Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada
Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada’s Scott Rosenzweig talks about granting Sultan Bouras Souissi’s wish, and what went into building it. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jim Marsh brings historic replica of rural church to Amargosa Valley
Jim Marsh talks during the opening of the Chapel at Longstreet, a replica of an 1874 Catholic church built in the mining town of Belmont, Nev., at Marsh's Longstreet Casino in Amargosa Valley, Nev. Chase Stevens/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas Livestock recycling Strip food waste
Las Vegas Livestock collects and recycles food from many Las Vegas Strip companies. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like