The new Interstate 15/Charleston Boulevard ramp configuration opened to traffic Tuesday morning, aimed at making travel in Downtown Las Vegas a smoother process.
The opening of new multiple freeway ramps is associated with Project Neon, the nearly $1 billion, 4-mile-long widening project from the Spaghetti Bowl to Sahara Avenue.
As with any new freeway ramp implementation, motorists will take time to acclimate to changes during their commutes, Nevada Department of Transportation officials said.
Drivers heading northbound on I-15 who take the new Charleston offramp (Exit 41) will have multiple options as they approach the traffic signal. The new offramp replaces the former setup that featured two separate ramps, one for eastbound and one for westbound travel.
Drivers now can opt to take the two far left lanes to head westbound on Charleston. Motorists could also opt to take the third from left travel lane to go straight to re-enter I-15, to access a new Alta Drive/Bonneville Avenue slip ramp, or to access Grand Central Parkway.
Drivers wishing to head eastbound on Charleston can take a right at the traffic signal from the single right-turn lane.
Drivers heading westbound on Charleston before I-15 can now access I-15 northbound directly from Charleston via the onramp. The new configuration eliminates the former loop around access ramp from Grand Central.
Motorists continuing on from the I-15 northbound offramp toward the Alta/Bonneville slip ramp also have the same options as those entering the ramp from Charleston westbound.
Drivers should expect heavier traffic during the first few days of the ramp as drivers get used to the setup, Tony Illia said, NDOT spokesman said.
“Motorists will gradually acclimate themselves to the new ramp configurations over the next few days, adjusting their daily commutes accordingly,” Illia said. “Ultimately, we believe these enhancements will dramatically improve efficiency, safety, and access into downtown Las Vegas, creating a new gateway into Symphony Park, and the Arts and Medical districts.”
Project Neon is 95 percent finished, with anticipated completion in May.