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New I-515 to 215 Beltway ramp causing traffic headaches in Henderson

Motorists traveling in Henderson are struggling with the newly opened Interstate 515 to the 215 Beltway ramp configuration.

A three-month-long restriping project aimed at improving safety and reducing traffic congestion at the freeway interchange did the opposite after first opening at 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Motorists who were accustomed to exiting I-515 southbound directly to the 215 Beltway westbound ramp are passing up the new route, which requires drivers to exit at the Lake Mead Parkway offramp, just north of Auto Show Drive, where two lanes, separated by barrier walls, will lead them to the 215 Beltway westbound, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation.

Throughout the day Tuesday the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada’s Freeway and Arterial System of Transportation cameras showed traffic congestion on I-515 just past the 215 Beltway and on the offramp to Horizon Drive, where motorists are exiting to head back north on the I-515 to transfer to the 215 Beltway westbound.

Drivers who exit at the offramp and want to continue on toward Lake Mead Parkway will see the onramp reduced from two lanes to one, with access to the Gibson Road offramp eliminated, NDOT said.

The changes are the result of a three-month restriping project aimed at improving safety and reducing the heavy congestion that occurs during peak traffic hours as motorists enter I-515 from Auto Show Drive and enter the 215 Beltway at the Gibson Road offramp into a single exit-only lane.

Road crews placed signs ahead of the Lake Mead Parkway offramp announcing the new configuration, aimed at allowing motorists to adjust to the new route.

“A period of motorist adjustment and reorientation is expected to due to the new freeway ramp configuration,” said Tony Illia, NDOT spokesperson. “Ultimately, we believe these improvements will enhance traffic operations and reduce congestion.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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