A new $52.5 million flyover ramp linking the southbound Airport Connector tunnel to the eastbound 215 Beltway was christened Monday morning, aimed at relieving traffic headed out of McCarran International Airport.
Motorists started using the ramp by 11 a.m., in time for the start of the afternoon commute, Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin said.
About 20,000 vehicles are projected to drive along the half-mile-long flyover ramp daily, Kulin said. Previously, drivers had to significantly slow down when navigating a looping ramp that connected the airport tunnel to the Beltway.
“This is going to make it significantly easier for people to flow right into traffic and come out much, much quicker out of the tunnel, and it will be significantly safer going into Henderson,” County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said during a news conference held at the apex of the curved, 40-foot-tall ramp.
With the project completed two months ahead of schedule, county officials on Monday also opened George Crockett Road, east of Bermuda Road.
On Tuesday, the county will open a newly widened ramp from the eastbound Beltway to Warm Springs Road and a new bridge for that offramp. Plans also call for the opening of a widened bridge that carries westbound Beltway traffic over the Airport Connector.
Crews will add landscaping, painting and other finishing touches over the next few months. Nearly 800 people worked on the ramp since construction began in August 2015, said Joshua Mendenhall, a project manager for Las Vegas Paving.
“It’s going to be great because it will provide better egress for the airport,” Mendenhall said. “The airport is one of the lifebloods of Las Vegas, so getting people in and out of there is important.”
At the close of the news conference, Sisolak and Las Vegas Paving owner Bob Mendenhall struggled to cut a red ribbon with a giant pair of scissors.
“They build bridges better than I cut ribbons,” Sisolak quipped with a chuckle.
Contact Art Marroquin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0336. Find @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.
New Flyover Bridge
Cost: $52.5 million
Height, at tallest point: 40 feet
Construction timeline: 21 months
Manpower: 795 construction workers
Source: Clark County and Las Vegas Paving