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New alignment of Martin Luther King Boulevard opens Saturday

Vehicles can start driving along a new, mile-long section of Martin Luther King Boulevard in downtown Las Vegas by 8 a.m. Saturday, the Nevada Department of Transportation said.

The reconfigured road, running between U.S. Highway 95 and Oakey Boulevard, will become a major connection for the Medical and Arts districts in downtown, NDOT spokesman Tony Illia said.

There are several differences between the new four-lane asphalt street and the old alignment.

The current segment of Martin Luther King Boulevard will become a feeder road with limited access while running alongside the freeway, Illia said.

Under the new design, Martin Luther King Boulevard will be elevated and run above Charleston Boulevard to relieve traffic congestion for both streets, Illia said. There will be no direct access from Charleston to Martin Luther King.

However, drivers headed south on Martin Luther King Boulevard can still turn right and head west on Charleston. By 2019, NDOT plans to build a ramp that will connect eastbound Charleston to Martin Luther King.

The boulevard’s intersection at Alta Drive was also widened for greater traffic capacity, Illia said. A new set of traffic signals will be switched on by October at the street’s intersection with Bearden Drive as crews continue to pave driveways in the area.

The improvement is part of the $1 billion Project Neon, which calls for widening the Spaghetti Bowl freeway interchange of I-15 and U.S. Highway 95 through Sahara Avenue by July 2019.

Contact Art Marroquin at amarroquin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Find @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.

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