Nevada 160

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Measuring 80.30 miles in length, Nevada State Route 160 loops west of the Spring Mountains between Interstate 15 and Las Vegas Boulevard (old SR 604) south of Las Vegas to U.S. 95 west of Mercury. Blue Diamond Road represents a commuter route between Enterprise and southwest Las Vegas Valley to Pahrump.

Leaving the Las Vegas metropolitan area, SR 160 (Blue Diamond Road) crosses the Spring Mountains over Mountain Springs Summit (el. 5,502 ft), south of Red Rocks. Continuing northwest into the Pahrump Valley, SR 160 expands to four lanes. Crossing into Nye County, SR 160 reduces to two lanes through eastern reaches of unincorporated Pahrump before widening to a five lane boulevard through the business district.

SR 160 follows a remote route through northern Pahrump Valley, navigating through a valley between Mount Montgomery and Mount Schader beyond Johnnie. The state route concludes after a seven mile stretch across the Amargosa Desert.

State Route 160 Expansion

Growing population in Las Vegas Valley resulted in expansion of the metropolitan area to the southwest along SR 160 (Blue Diamond Road). Plans for the initial expansion of the corridor were presented by the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) at a meeting held on July 27, 1999. $45 million in improvements included realigning and widening SR 160 to six lanes between Industrial Road and Las Vegas Boulevard, and expanding the four-lane section between Industrial Road and Rainbow Boulevard to six lanes. The proposed work also outlined building a new interchange with Interstate 15, including a flyover from SR 160 east to I-15 north, shifting Blue Diamond Road south to meet Windmill Lane and constructing a grade separation at the Union Pacific Railroad to the southwest.1

Needing approval from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and funding, the earliest possible start date for the SR 160 expansion project was the end of 2001.1 A subsequent public meeting for the SR 160 expansion was held by NDOT on July 28, 2003. Proposed widening of SR 160 between Industrial Road and Rainbow Boulevard was increased to four lanes in each direction.3

Estimated costs for the SR 160 realignment and expansion increased to $75 million. Bids on the first of three project phases was anticipated for August 2004. Expected to take three to four years, Phase One represented the eight lane expansion of SR 160 between I-15 and Rainbow Boulevard and the bridges taking Blue Diamond Road over UP Railroad. Anticipated to run two years, Phase Two involved realigning SR 160 east to connect with Las Vegas Boulevard at Windmill Lane. Phase Three was the planned construction of a new overpass carrying Warm Springs Road over I-15 to the north of SR 160.4

Another public hearing for the planned improvements along SR 160 at I-15 took place on May 19, 2004. The schedule was anticipated from January 2005 to early 2007.5 Bids for the $26 million, 1.5 year project to build the new Blue Diamond Road interchange at Interstate 15 were advertised on January 6, 2005. Widening of SR 160 to the west was partitioned into Phase 2a, from Valley View Boulevard to Decatur Boulevard, and Phase 2B, from Decatur to Rainbow Boulevard. Work on both 18 month projects was scheduled to begin in March and September 2005 respectively.6

The start of construction for the $31 million first phase was pushed back again to September 2005. The $25 million second phase and $26 million final phases were also delayed to late 2005 and 2006 respectively. Completion of the overall project was anticipated for the end of 2008.7

The flyover at SR 160 and I-15 was eventually built as part of a $252.2 million expansion project started in March 2010 along Interstate 15 between Silverado Ranch Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue. Accommodating two lanes, the five-span, 900 foot long and 40 foot wide high speed ramp opened in July 2011.8,9

Traveling across suburban areas of Enterprise, SR 160 (Blue Diamond Road) comprises an eight lane arterial west to Rainbow Boulevard. The four lane section extends into Cottonwood Valley. $16.5 million widening of SR 160 between Red Rock Canyon and mile marker 17 was completed on May 31, 2017. Expansion of the six mile section west from mile marker 16.3 to 22 commenced with blasting operations on September 24, 2018. The $58.6 million project includes a raised median barrier, bike lanes and intersection lighting enhancements. Frontage roads will be built at the Mountain Springs community as well as a wildlife undercrossing near mile marker 18.4.10

Nevada State Route 160 East
The first shield for SR 160 posted at the intersection with U.S. 95 in Nye County previously referenced westbound. The assembly was missing by 2007, and subsequently replaced with a proper SR 160 south marker by 2011. Photo taken 01/21/02.
SR 160 (Blue Diamond Road) converges with Interstate 15 at the end of a commercial strip anchored by the Silverton Casino. Photo taken 03/31/08.
Opened in July 2011, a flyover ramp for Interstate 15 north into Las Vegas provides free flow movement from SR 160 east in place of a signalized left turn. Photo taken 03/31/08.
The entrance ramp for Interstate 15 south to Primm and San Bernardino, California follows the flyover ramp on SR 160 eastbound. Photo taken 03/31/08.
The original northbound entrance ramp to I-15 was realigned onto a collector distributor roadway extending north to the Fish Bowl interchange with I-215 and Clark County 215 (Bruce Woodbury Beltway). Photo taken 03/31/08.
2 photos
2 photos
Prior to the 2005-08 interchange rebuild, a loop ramp connected Blue Diamond Road eastbound with Interstate 15 north. Photos taken 01/16/04.
SR 160 originally concluded northeast of I-15 at Las Vegas Boulevard (SR 604). With Blue Diamond Road realigned southward to connect with Las Vegas Boulevard at Windmill Lane, this roadway was demolished. Photo taken 01/16/04.
Nevada State Route 160 West
SR 160 (Blue Diamond Road) originates at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard (former SR 604) and Windmill Lane. The first shield for SR 160 westbound follows. Photo taken 03/31/08.
The six lane arterial enters a diamond interchange with Interstate 15 just west of Las Vegas Boulevard. A flyover ramp was constructed at the exchange from SR 160 east to I-15 north during the 2010-12 expansion of Interstate 15 through south Las Vegas Valley. Photo taken 03/31/08.
The northbound on-ramp for I-15 joins a c/d roadway extending north from Blue Diamond Road to I-215 east and CC 215 west. Photo taken 03/31/08.
2 photos
2 photos
Interstate 15 joins the Las Vegas metropolitan area with St. George and Salt Lake City, Utah to the north. Photos taken 03/31/08.
SR 372 (Charles Brown Highway) stems west from SR 160 (Pahrump Valley Road) to the California state line and Death Valley National Park. Photo taken 01/21/02.
2 photos
2 photos
Heading west across Pahrump Valley to Stewart Valley, the 7.77 mile route of SR 372 connects with California State Route 178 to Shoshone. Photos taken 01/21/02.

Sources:

  1. "Blue Diamond Highway expansion revealed." Las Vegas Sun (NV), July 28, 1999.
  2. "NDOT to hold public meeting on Monday." Las Vegas Sun (NV), July 25, 2003.
  3. "State officials detail Highway 160 work." Pahrump Valley Times (NV), August 1, 2003.
  4. "Hearings to highlight plans for U.S. 95, Route 160 work." Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV), May 19, 2004.
  5. "Blue Diamond Interchange moves forward." Las Vegas Business Press (NV), December 17, 2004.
  6. "Road Warrior Q&A: "Southwest Strangler"." Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV), June 8, 2005.
  7. "Some construction really is winding up." Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV), June 15, 2011.
  8. "Some construction really is winding up." Las Vegas Business Press (NV), July 4, 2011.
  9. S.R. 160 Widening, Las Vegas. Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), project web site.


Photo Credits:

01/21/02, 01/16/04, 03/31/08 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 15
U.S. 95

Page Updated 04-19-2019.