The Nevada Department of Transportation’s (NDOT) Project Neon is 40 percent complete at the one-year mark, a milestone the agency is celebrating during the biggest public works project in the state’s history.
The project, with a price tag of almost $1 billion, involves the widening of Interstate 15 between Sahara Avenue in downtown Las Vegas and the “Spaghetti Bowl” interchange and is currently on schedule and within budget. Kiewit Infrastructure West is the general contractor under a design-build contract and Atkins North America is lead designer.
“Project Neon is nearly 40 percent complete, recording roughly 400,000 man hours of work thus far without a recordable injury,” says NDOT project manager Dale Keller. “Meanwhile, the transformation of Martin Luther King Boulevard into a parallel I-15 feeder road is nearly complete.”
NDOT says the project will update and improve the state’s busiest highway section, a route that sees 300,000 vehicles each day with 25,000 lane changes per hour. The stretch of roadway, the agency reports, could have double the current traffic levels by 2035.
Construction to this point includes:
- More than one mile of reinforced concrete box culvert for flood control
- The longest sign structure in the state of Nevada, according to NDOT
- 46 girders set, including the longest precast girders in the state of Nevada (168-foot long)
- 607 tons of reinforcing steel – more than 5 times the steel used in the Statue of Liberty
- 6,342 cubic yards of concrete – enough to pave a 12-foot lane of concrete, 1-foot thick for 2.5 miles
- 43 structures demolished
- More than 17 miles of utilities installed
NDOT says the “centerpiece” of the project is the flyover bridge from southbound U.S. 95 to southbound I-15. The structure, measuring 81 feet tall by 2,606 feet long, will serve as a High Occupancy Vehicle bridge and will accommodate northbound carpool traffic. It will help create 22 miles consecutive carpool lanes between the two roadways.
Another key part of the project is a full diamond interchange at Charleston Boulevard designed to provide “easier access” to downtown, the Medical District and Symphony Park. Other improvements include landscape upgrades, dynamic message signs, improved drainage and “aesthetic” enhancements.
“Project Neon, upon completion in summer 2019, will reduce travel delays by 28 percent for a $110 million annual savings through increased productivity,” says NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon. “It will also improve air quality due to less idle time and vehicle exhaust while enhancing motorist safety from reduced merge and weave traffic.”