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US 95 Downtown Access Project, Las Vegas

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The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports:

--- Quote ---In what could be the U.S. Highway 95 equivalent of Project Neon, early plans for a Downtown access project reveal possible striking changes for the highway in downtown Las Vegas.

The project will reconfigure a 4-mile portion of U.S. 95 and could carry a $1 billion price tag, according to the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada documents. That would be the same as Project Neon, which was the largest and most expensive public works project in state history.

... The project, whose scope is between Rancho Drive and Mojave Road, would add lane capacity to U.S. 95 through the corridor and extend the HOV lanes from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Eastern.

Initial plans also call for braided ramps between I-15 and U.S. 95 and the construction of new HOV interchanges at City and Maryland parkways.

The project would be the first update to the U.S. 95 viaduct, or elevated road running from Martin Luther King to just east of Las Vegas Boulevard, since it was built in the 1960s.

--- End quote ---

MOD NOTE: Changed thread title (originally "$1 billion rebuild eyed for US 95 in downtown LV") on 8/25/2020, since "Downtown Access Project" seems to be the official name now. –Roadfro

Ha! We always joke about the two seasons in Colorado: winter and road construction.

You only have one season in Vegas!


--- Quote from: Mark68 on February 24, 2020, 06:56:55 PM ---Ha! We always joke about the two seasons in Colorado: winter and road construction.

You only have one season in Vegas!

--- End quote ---

That seems about right.  Have exhibited and/or attended the Winter CES in that town regularly since 1982; can't recall a time when there was no major construction along or near I-15, US 95/I-515, and the nascent 215 loop -- not to mention the airport accessways and the connectors between 15 and the Strip.  Guess it's all part of the growth in the metro area and the commensurate need to address the needs of the major regional employers and both their customers and staff. 

NDOT Downtown Access Project website:

Well, this project is sorely needed, so I'm glad NDOT is looking at this. Too bad the timeline is running out so far–environmental study by 2023, design by 2027 and construction by 2031...

The downtown leg of US 95/I-515 is the only part of the four freeway legs surrounding the Spaghetti Bowl that has not been reconstructed and widened within the last 10-15 years. The segment is showing its age, especially with the closely-spaced ramps between I-15, Casino Center/4th, and Las Vegas Blvd. That 4th St NB on ramp to US 95 is not very forgiving, requiring a merge out of the auxiliary lane within about 500 feet to avoid being forced off to I-15 south–especially challenging when the ramp meter is on, as the meter is very close to the end of the ramp so you're trying to do that merge at less than freeway speed unless you floor it. Also, the viaduct portion between Las Vegas Blvd and the Bruce St crossing (just west of Eastern Ave), while constructed in 1980, is sagging badly–there's a bit of a roller coaster effect as you travel in either direction. A prior scoping study for I-515 improvements that was started in the mid 2000s also eyed replacing or expanding the downtown viaduct–this study was quietly discontinued, perhaps due to the recession and need to put greater focus onto I-15 projects in the last decade or so.

Interestingly, some form of access ramp to City Pkwy has been proposed in various studies in the past decade, so it is good to see the concept survive. Now with the talk of extending the HOV lanes on US 95 past the Spaghetti Bowl, a HOV interchange makes sense (and will be a better access point for express bus routes from the northwest to reach the downtown bus station than the I-15 Neon Gateway HOV interchange). Also interestingly, a regular interchange at Maryland Pkwy was even contemplated in original studies that led to the construction of I-515, but ultimately never constructed–an HOV interchange here might relieve some pressure from the Eastern Ave interchange.

Plutonic Panda:
This is excellent news! I do wish the schedule would be moved up a bit. It would be nice if construction starts in 2025/2026.


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