Construction on Nevada’s second-longest bridge is at the 50-yard line.
The 2,635-foot-long flyover will connect U.S. Highway 95 northbound to the 215 Beltway westbound in northwest Las Vegas. The bridge is part of the $73 million Centennial Bowl interchange project, which broke ground in January.
The 75-foot-tall by 39-foot-wide bridge is constructed from cast-in-place concrete. It will measure the equivalent of seven football fields laid end-to-end, providing one travel lane in each direction linking north-to-west freeway traffic.
The bridge concrete is pumped into forms, which act like cake pans, then cured to achieve maximum structural strength, according to Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Illia.
“It’s structurally supported by an internal skeleton of thin reinforcing steel rods called rebar, with post-tensioned steel cables that act as tendons,” Illia said. “The driving surface, meanwhile, is the icing on the cake.”
The project also entails building a second, smaller interchange bridge, measuring 60 feet tall by 31 feet wide, that links the eastbound 215 Beltway with U.S. 95 southbound.
The two large-scale flyovers are going up simultaneously, crisscrossing in midair.
Flyover ramps enable direct freeway-to-freeway connections while still maintaining highway travel speeds for greater efficiency and safety.
“Currently if you need to make a freeway-to-freeway connection you need to get off the freeway, take surface streets, go through a couple of traffic signals and then re-enter the freeway,” Illia said. “This allows you freeway-to-freeway connection without slowing down and speeding up. It makes for a safer, more efficient flow of traffic.”
The dual bridges sit atop a foundation consisting of 60 drilled piles up to 80 feet deep and 10 feet in diameter. The flyovers are supported by 1,800 feet of lineal feet of falsework during construction and 5.2 million pounds of reinforcing steel.
The bridge work is employing up to 150 tradesmen and is scheduled to be finished in November.