A major road project near the Las Vegas Stadium won’t be complete until 2024, well after the future Raiders home facility opens in 2020.
The $200 million Interstate 15/Tropicana Avenue interchange project is slated to get underway sometime in 2021, with the 26-month construction timeline leading to the project’s likely completion in 2024, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation. There is an outside chance the project could finish in sometime in late 2023, but for that to occur everything in the process must go right, NDOT spokesman Tony Illia said.
That timetable means the Tropicana Avenue interchange project won’t get underway until at least a year after the $1.8 billion, 65,000-seat stadium project is complete, and the Raiders and UNLV begin playing their home football games there.
While Illia acknowledged the roadwork will be ongoing, he said he expects no major issue for fans heading to the stadium for events.
“Our improvements will only impact Tropicana and Harmon avenues at Interstate 15, which are both north of the future Raiders stadium,” he said. “Furthermore, most football games take place on either Saturday or Sunday when construction isn’t occurring.”
Both Russell Road and Dean Martin Drive will be available for stadium access during the project’s construction, Illia added.
Despite the project’s scope and location near an area that not only includes the Las Vegas stadium, but also T-Mobile Arena and various resorts on the Strip, interaction with the involved parties has helped ease concerns about the project’s potential impact.
“There are always traffic concerns with a project of this magnitude. That is why we have been working closely with the Raiders and community stakeholders, including the RTC and private ride-share operators to ensure all options are being explored,” Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft, whose district includes the stadium area, said in an email.
“The initial parking proposal shows a majority of the parking options to be to the south, limiting the impact to the Tropicana/I-15 interchange,” he said. “I was encouraged by studies indicating that more than half of visitors to the stadium will not be arriving by vehicle, reducing the impact even further.”
The interchange project calls for reconstruction, including a diamond on- and off-ramp configuration with a flyover at Tropicana Avenue.
The project was modified to include high occupancy vehicle lanes to ramps to and from the south of the I-15/Harmon Avenue overpass. The location of the HOV lane ramps was altered to remove one that had been planned at Hacienda Avenue, after MGM Resorts International and stadium developers expressed concerns about that location. The original HOV ramp plans were developed before the stadium project came to life.
As the environmental studies and preliminary engineering are slated to be completed this year, the timeline includes design development, right-of-way acquisition and permitting to occur between this year and 2021. The final plans, specifications, estimate bid and award, and construction and completion of the project are expected to take place between 2021 and 2024.
A proposed pedestrian bridge that was to be constructed across I-15 from near Mandalay Bay has been scrapped.
“County staff and the developer have met frequently on various stadium issues, including examining how thousands of pedestrians will get to/from Las Vegas Boulevard and the stadium on event days,” Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin said in an email. “A pedestrian bridge was discussed, and it was determined that there was not a suitable location for the bridge to land on the east side of the highway.”
The pedestrian plan was updated to use Hacienda Avenue, which runs east/west between Mandalay Bay and Luxor, for event-day pedestrian traffic to and from Las Vegas Boulevard.
Plans call for the road to be closed to regular vehicle traffic between the Strip and the stadium on event days. A dedicated lane for emergency vehicles on Hacienda Avenue would be in place on event days, Kulin said.
Stadium Event Co. Chief Operating Officer Don Webb said in September that he expects an estimated 20,000 people will walk to events from nearby resorts on a regular basis.
The 0.7-mile trek, starting at Hacienda Avenue from the Strip to the stadium site, takes about 15 minutes on a normal day while vehicle traffic is present, according to Google Maps.
The county also anticipates that additional construction on or near Hacienda Avenue will be shown in future plans from the developer.
Polaris Avenue, one of the north-south roads the stadium is sandwiched between, will be widened from Russell Road to Hacienda Avenue as well, Kulin said. The time frame on that project has yet to be determined.
The Raiders are mum on other transportation plans regarding the stadium, including their planned satellite parking lot shuttle plan, which includes at least four off-site parking lots, where fans would be shuttled to the stadium by bus.
Reached for comment, Raiders president Marc Badain said, “(We’re) working on many things relating to parking and transportation.”
Timeline for $200 million project
Environmental study: 2018-19
Design development: 2019-2021
Construction start: 2021
Construction completion: 2024