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Author Topic: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line  (Read 7121 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« on: April 08, 2021, 03:26:59 PM »

The logical progression from our blog (Gribblenation) on the history of the southern terminus of US Route 91 leads directly into the construction of Interstate 15 through the Mojave Desert.  Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the Nevada State Line was built to freeway standards relatively quickly as it was completed by 1965.  This led to an odd circumstance where US 91 and US 466 lingered on with a multiplex of Interstate 15 to a terminus in Baker for many years.  Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the Nevada State Line is a surprisingly busy rural corridor which actually can be quite scenic as it traverses the heart of the Mojave Desert. 

https://www.gribblenation.org/2021/04/interstate-15-mojave-freeway-from.html?m=1
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2021, 04:50:52 PM »

This subject keeps getting brought up the Las Vegas Mayor and now tourism officials. I say good keep putting pressure on caltrans to widen this damned thing! Hell I’d argue for 8 lanes but I will be more than happy with 6.

Still, I don’t think problems will be solved until they address the agricultural checkpoint which needs to be be completely removed for non commercial traffic.

https://news3lv.com/newsletter-daily/tourism-officials-say-california-nevada-border-traffic-jams-need-to-be-addressed
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cahwyguy

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2021, 03:17:05 PM »

They have really improved the Ag checkpoint these days. But the checkpoint is important to California agriculture. I used to think it wasn't, then I gave this episode of Gastropod a listen (actually, I think it was while driving I-15 to Vegas). https://gastropod.com/chocpocalypse-now-quarantine-and-the-future-of-food/
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2021, 03:55:42 PM »

They have really improved the Ag checkpoint these days. But the checkpoint is important to California agriculture. I used to think it wasn't, then I gave this episode of Gastropod a listen (actually, I think it was while driving I-15 to Vegas). https://gastropod.com/chocpocalypse-now-quarantine-and-the-future-of-food/

I get why it is with commercial traffic given the diseases which can be carried in produce.  That being said the amount of risk with produce being carried in a passenger vehicle (if any) is nominal to non-existent.  For the most part I would probably say I’ve just been waved through at about 95% of agriculture checkpoints on California State Highways.  I don’t see the point in stopping or slowing passenger traffic on I-15 when a grace separated agricultural station for commercial vehicles exists at the new facility.  California is the only state that does things like this with agricultural checkpoints. 
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cahwyguy

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2021, 04:34:52 PM »

They have really improved the Ag checkpoint these days. But the checkpoint is important to California agriculture. I used to think it wasn't, then I gave this episode of Gastropod a listen (actually, I think it was while driving I-15 to Vegas). https://gastropod.com/chocpocalypse-now-quarantine-and-the-future-of-food/

I get why it is with commercial traffic given the diseases which can be carried in produce.  That being said the amount of risk with produce being carried in a passenger vehicle (if any) is nominal to non-existent.  For the most part I would probably say I’ve just been waved through at about 95% of agriculture checkpoints on California State Highways.  I don’t see the point in stopping or slowing passenger traffic on I-15 when a grace separated agricultural station for commercial vehicles exists at the new facility.  California is the only state that does things like this with agricultural checkpoints. 

As I said, listen to the podcast. Passenger vehicles are less of a concern, but if you are from out of state, they may flag you. Of larger concern are RVs and pickup trucks carrying things, which wouldn't fall under the commercial vehicle rubric. All it takes is one or two pests to destroy the entire industry, so they are careful.

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skluth

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2021, 04:57:10 PM »

For the most part I would probably say I’ve just been waved through at about 95% of agriculture checkpoints on California State Highways.  I don’t see the point in stopping or slowing passenger traffic on I-15 when a grace separated agricultural station for commercial vehicles exists at the new facility.  California is the only state that does things like this with agricultural checkpoints.

You have CA plates. You're much more likely to be stopped with out-of-state plates. I've always been questioned with non-CA plates, but now that I have CA plates I get waved through every time. The questioning isn't any more thorough than a couple quick questions. But I get it with how important and varied California agriculture is to the economy, both state and national.

Florida also operates agriculture inspection stations. I believe Arizona once had one on I-40 coming from New Mexico. Hawaii is also strict with agriculture imports, but it's not like anyone is driving there.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2021, 05:12:55 PM »

I drove through dozens of times with Oklahoma plated and never once stopped or even questioned.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2021, 05:36:21 PM »

For the most part I would probably say I’ve just been waved through at about 95% of agriculture checkpoints on California State Highways.  I don’t see the point in stopping or slowing passenger traffic on I-15 when a grace separated agricultural station for commercial vehicles exists at the new facility.  California is the only state that does things like this with agricultural checkpoints.

You have CA plates. You're much more likely to be stopped with out-of-state plates. I've always been questioned with non-CA plates, but now that I have CA plates I get waved through every time. The questioning isn't any more thorough than a couple quick questions. But I get it with how important and varied California agriculture is to the economy, both state and national.

Florida also operates agriculture inspection stations. I believe Arizona once had one on I-40 coming from New Mexico. Hawaii is also strict with agriculture imports, but it's not like anyone is driving there.

Amusingly the majority of my state crossings was when I was an Arizona resident with Arizona plates.  Prior to moving to California I actually worked here twice circa 2007-2010 and 2011-2013.  I lived in Florida from 2014-2016 which is why I had said state in mind with how the agricultural inspections are handled differently off grade with commercial vehicles.  I can see the merits of just putting a station in the middle of the road on roads US 199 and CA 139 given the low traffic counts.  I-15 is obviously having a traffic issue which is only being worsened by the antiquated practice of stopping/slowing passenger vehicles at the agricultural inspection station.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2021, 05:39:00 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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andy3175

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2021, 06:10:39 PM »

https://www.fox5vegas.com/news/las-vegas-mayor-again-calls-for-i-15-widening-amid-ca-port-hour-expansion/article_2a7f4d56-2d06-11ec-bdd9-b771644b48d3.html

Las Vegas Mayor Goodman suggested that in addition to the frustration of weekly traffic delays, I-15 improvements are also needed as result of expanding operating hours at the Port of Los Angeles.

Quote
Mayor of Las Vegas Carolyn Goodman on Thursday again called for the widening of the Interstate 15 between the Nevada state line and Barstow. Goodman's renewed push comes following Wednesday's announcement that President Joe Biden's administration helped facilitate the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to operate around the clock, seven days a week.

"This is a big first step in speeding up the movement of materials and goods through our supply chain," said Biden.

Now, weekends are among the times that port activity will be open. Weekends are when the I-15 is often the busiest with congestion. ...

FOX5 spoke to the California Department of Transportation's communications officials Thursday, and they said they have no plans to fix it. Instead, they are hoping the pending high-speed railway will improve things.

"Currently Caltrans does not have any projects on the books so to speak to build any widening or anything that would address traffic specifically at state line," said Terri Kasinga, chief of public and media affairs for Caltrans.

Goodman hopes to go over California's officials heads by getting Washington involved.

"Only the president has the power to say, 'Yes, we'll have an environmental study,' but 'Yes, I want this done now,' and, 'Yes, I want this done quickly, because of all this freight,'" said Goodman.

She's pleading with Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus get the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on her side with this.

"She is very, very much in leadership for transportation. So my hope is she'll sit down with our Secretary Buttigieg, and then the president, and move this," said Goodman.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2021, 06:27:17 PM »

A coupe of days ago I drove from LA to OKC taking a detour route along I-15 going through Las Vegas and then south via 93 to I-40. I can’t recall that I’ve ever seen as many semis the entire way it was insane. So many semis broken down on the shoulder, packed the lots were at fuel and truck stations, I witnessed a homeowner and a semi truck in a fight in Oklahoma given the fact the semi driver appeared to just park in his driveway.

Lots of rude people as well. The holidays are going to be fun this year.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2021, 06:41:29 PM »

A coupe of days ago I drove from LA to OKC taking a detour route along I-15 going through Las Vegas and then south via 93 to I-40. I can’t recall that I’ve ever seen as many semis the entire way it was insane. So many semis broken down on the shoulder, packed the lots were at fuel and truck stations, I witnessed a homeowner and a semi truck in a fight in Oklahoma given the fact the semi driver appeared to just park in his driveway.

Lots of rude people as well. The holidays are going to be fun this year.

Stands to reason, that corridor was hugely desirable for an upgrade over the old Hoover Dam alignment.  I still remember the Hoover Dam truck detour post 9/11 required using AZ 68, NV 163 and US 95 before the Pat Tillman Bridge was completed. 
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2021, 06:49:49 PM »

A coupe of days ago I drove from LA to OKC taking a detour route along I-15 going through Las Vegas and then south via 93 to I-40. I can’t recall that I’ve ever seen as many semis the entire way it was insane. So many semis broken down on the shoulder, packed the lots were at fuel and truck stations, I witnessed a homeowner and a semi truck in a fight in Oklahoma given the fact the semi driver appeared to just park in his driveway.

Lots of rude people as well. The holidays are going to be fun this year.

Stands to reason, that corridor was hugely desirable for an upgrade over the old Hoover Dam alignment.  I still remember the Hoover Dam truck detour post 9/11 required using AZ 68, NV 163 and US 95 before the Pat Tillman Bridge was completed.
WOW! I had no clue there was a detour during that but it makes sense I guess. That probably was not fun at all. I know this isn’t popular but I wish we’d see some more roads even if just two lanes built around the Grand Canyon and Vegas.
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SkyPesos

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2021, 06:59:28 PM »

Florida also operates agriculture inspection stations.
Florida's is a bit different than California's checkpoints. I've never been to a CA one, but it seems like that all vehicles have to slow down approaching one, and either stop at one or manually get waived over, and it's only in the direction entering CA. I've driven past the one on I-75 (MM 445) everytime entering the state, and never had to stop, as passenger cars without a trailer don't have to. Also, at least the one on I-75, there's a inspection check in both directions of I-75, not just southbound.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2021, 07:06:54 PM »

Yeah I never stopped at an agricultural station in Florida and I’ve driven in on I-10 and 75.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2021, 07:08:00 PM »

A coupe of days ago I drove from LA to OKC taking a detour route along I-15 going through Las Vegas and then south via 93 to I-40. I can’t recall that I’ve ever seen as many semis the entire way it was insane. So many semis broken down on the shoulder, packed the lots were at fuel and truck stations, I witnessed a homeowner and a semi truck in a fight in Oklahoma given the fact the semi driver appeared to just park in his driveway.

Lots of rude people as well. The holidays are going to be fun this year.

Stands to reason, that corridor was hugely desirable for an upgrade over the old Hoover Dam alignment.  I still remember the Hoover Dam truck detour post 9/11 required using AZ 68, NV 163 and US 95 before the Pat Tillman Bridge was completed.
WOW! I had no clue there was a detour during that but it makes sense I guess. That probably was not fun at all. I know this isn’t popular but I wish we’d see some more roads even if just two lanes built around the Grand Canyon and Vegas.

Yes, trucks over the Hoover Dam were banned pretty quickly post 9/11.  That led to a ton of development on AZ 68, NV 163 and US 95 given they were suddenly the truck route.   The security checkpoint over the Hoover Dam in 2001 during approaching New Years Eve took about 3-4 hours for passenger vehicles to traverse.  Coupled with fact most of US 93 was two lanes north of Wickenburg back then made for one of the most miserable drives of my life. 
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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2021, 07:17:18 PM »

Just recently (a couple of weeks ago), I drove from Vegas to visit my parents in Riverside. I got waved through the Ag checkpoint, and it looked like they were doing that to all non-commercial vehicles. At least from what I could tell. I don't think it was just my Colorado license plates.
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skluth

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2021, 10:02:04 PM »

Just recently (a couple of weeks ago), I drove from Vegas to visit my parents in Riverside. I got waved through the Ag checkpoint, and it looked like they were doing that to all non-commercial vehicles. At least from what I could tell. I don't think it was just my Colorado license plates.

They're less vigilant in protecting our California cannabis industry despite your being from Colorado  ;-)
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Mark68

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2021, 12:12:13 PM »

Just recently (a couple of weeks ago), I drove from Vegas to visit my parents in Riverside. I got waved through the Ag checkpoint, and it looked like they were doing that to all non-commercial vehicles. At least from what I could tell. I don't think it was just my Colorado license plates.



They're less vigilant in protecting our California cannabis industry despite your being from Colorado  ;-)

Since we were first and all... :bigass:
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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2021, 11:29:04 AM »

https://www.fox5vegas.com/news/las-vegas-mayor-again-calls-for-i-15-widening-amid-ca-port-hour-expansion/article_2a7f4d56-2d06-11ec-bdd9-b771644b48d3.html

Las Vegas Mayor Goodman suggested that in addition to the frustration of weekly traffic delays, I-15 improvements are also needed as result of expanding operating hours at the Port of Los Angeles.

Quote
Mayor of Las Vegas Carolyn Goodman on Thursday again called for the widening of the Interstate 15 between the Nevada state line and Barstow. Goodman's renewed push comes following Wednesday's announcement that President Joe Biden's administration helped facilitate the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to operate around the clock, seven days a week.

"This is a big first step in speeding up the movement of materials and goods through our supply chain," said Biden.

Now, weekends are among the times that port activity will be open. Weekends are when the I-15 is often the busiest with congestion. ...

FOX5 spoke to the California Department of Transportation's communications officials Thursday, and they said they have no plans to fix it. Instead, they are hoping the pending high-speed railway will improve things.

"Currently Caltrans does not have any projects on the books so to speak to build any widening or anything that would address traffic specifically at state line," said Terri Kasinga, chief of public and media affairs for Caltrans.

Goodman hopes to go over California's officials heads by getting Washington involved.

"Only the president has the power to say, 'Yes, we'll have an environmental study,' but 'Yes, I want this done now,' and, 'Yes, I want this done quickly, because of all this freight,'" said Goodman.

She's pleading with Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus get the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on her side with this.

"She is very, very much in leadership for transportation. So my hope is she'll sit down with our Secretary Buttigieg, and then the president, and move this," said Goodman.

I agree with Mayor Goodman, the improvements on I-15 are really needed to better facilitate the ever-increasing traffic between Las Vegas and Los Angeles/San Diego. Sure, high-speed rail would also be a great thing to have, but I'd rather have I-15 worked on first.
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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2021, 05:35:21 PM »

This is the sort of comment that almost certainly belongs in Fictional, but if there is that much traffic between SoCal and Vegas, obviously with travelers with $$$ for a weekend of fun…Why hasn’t any Public and/or Private Interests funded a Toll Road/Turnpike parallel to I-15 from the CA/NV state line to at least Barstow? Or even from the state line and following a more southerly route to get to I-40 SW of Vegas?

I’m sure there are limited places to cross the mountains, but if a parallel Toll Road has the traffic volumes because the free alternative is way overcapacity, why is there no “Alternate” proposals out there, other than the High Speed Train?
« Last Edit: November 01, 2021, 05:37:49 PM by ilpt4u »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2021, 05:44:57 PM »

This is the sort of comment that almost certainly belongs in Fictional, but if there is that much traffic between SoCal and Vegas, obviously with travelers with $$$ for a weekend of fun…Why hasn’t any Public and/or Private Interests funded a Toll Road/Turnpike parallel to I-15 from the CA/NV state line to at least Barstow? Or even from the state line and following a more southerly route to get to I-40 SW of Vegas?

I’m sure there are limited places to cross the mountains, but if a parallel Toll Road has the traffic volumes because the free alternative is way overcapacity, why is there no “Alternate” proposals out there, other than the High Speed Train?

In terms of the terrain you are correct the options are incredibly limited.  The Arrowhead Trail originally followed the corridor of what is now US 95 before shifting to the vicinity of what became US 91 via the “Silver Lake Cut-off.”  Much of the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County since the construction of I-15 has been incorporated either into National Monuments of the Mojave National Preserve.  Suffice to say anything but the current corridor of I-15 has substantial red tape around it for development prospects.
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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2021, 11:12:31 AM »

This is the sort of comment that almost certainly belongs in Fictional, but if there is that much traffic between SoCal and Vegas, obviously with travelers with $$$ for a weekend of fun…Why hasn’t any Public and/or Private Interests funded a Toll Road/Turnpike parallel to I-15 from the CA/NV state line to at least Barstow? Or even from the state line and following a more southerly route to get to I-40 SW of Vegas?

I’m sure there are limited places to cross the mountains, but if a parallel Toll Road has the traffic volumes because the free alternative is way overcapacity, why is there no “Alternate” proposals out there, other than the High Speed Train?

In terms of the terrain you are correct the options are incredibly limited.  The Arrowhead Trail originally followed the corridor of what is now US 95 before shifting to the vicinity of what became US 91 via the “Silver Lake Cut-off.”  Much of the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County since the construction of I-15 has been incorporated either into National Monuments of the Mojave National Preserve.  Suffice to say anything but the current corridor of I-15 has substantial red tape around it for development prospects.

As to why there aren't any toll alternatives: I'd speculate that the high demand only really exists on holiday weekends (and maybe some regular weekends) when there is significant travel activity between SoCal and Vegas. Outside of that, traffic volumes are likely reasonable given typical rural interstate characteristics in the west. Nobody would use a toll facility in most normal circumstances when the free route is more than adequate. There'd be little justification to build a separate toll road—or even a separate tolled express lane—under those circumstances.
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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2021, 11:25:52 AM »

As to why there aren't any toll alternatives: I'd speculate that the high demand only really exists on holiday weekends (and maybe some regular weekends) when there is significant travel activity between SoCal and Vegas. Outside of that, traffic volumes are likely reasonable given typical rural interstate characteristics in the west. Nobody would use a toll facility in most normal circumstances when the free route is more than adequate. There'd be little justification to build a separate toll road—or even a separate tolled express lane—under those circumstances.
Unless you are a Casino/Resort who wants to make it more attractive for SoCal residents to head to Vegas and throw a few grand around

I’ve never made the LA-Vegas drive, but I have heard horror stories of how bad the traffic jam is every Sunday. No idea if the stories are hammed up or if there is any/some truth to them
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2021, 11:54:32 AM »

As to why there aren't any toll alternatives: I'd speculate that the high demand only really exists on holiday weekends (and maybe some regular weekends) when there is significant travel activity between SoCal and Vegas. Outside of that, traffic volumes are likely reasonable given typical rural interstate characteristics in the west. Nobody would use a toll facility in most normal circumstances when the free route is more than adequate. There'd be little justification to build a separate toll road—or even a separate tolled express lane—under those circumstances.
Unless you are a Casino/Resort who wants to make it more attractive for SoCal residents to head to Vegas and throw a few grand around

I’ve never made the LA-Vegas drive, but I have heard horror stories of how bad the traffic jam is every Sunday. No idea if the stories are hammed up or if there is any/some truth to them

Having driven back from Vegas numerous times on weekends it can match the hype that you hear frequently sited.  I would compare it to how bad I-17 gets southbound from Flagstaff on weekends.  If you able the best bet is to just use the corridor on a weekday or use an alternative route.  Fortunately being in Fresno these days affords me the option bypass I-15 completely via Death Valley or by way or Tioga Pass and US 95 in the summer.
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skluth

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Re: Interstate 15 north of Barstow to the State Line
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2021, 03:49:21 PM »

One other factor limiting I-15 traffic volumes north of Barstow, at least at the beginnings of weekends, is the afternoon traffic jam going up Cajon Pass. Most of that traffic is only going as far as Victorville and other exurbs. It still means a lot of cars heading to LV, but I think a lot of the problems north of Barstow are exasperated by drivers having different thoughts of the proper speed to drive on I-15.
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