U.S. Highway 95 will lose a lane in each direction from Rancho Drive to just east of Interstate 15 starting at 9 p.m. Monday. Here are five things you need to know as construction continues at the Spaghetti Bowl:
What it is
U.S. 95 will be narrowed to two lanes so that crews can split the northbound and southbound lanes by 70 feet, creating enough room to build a 81-foot-tall flyover ramp for high-occupancy vehicles. Lane closures along U.S. 95 will shift during various phases of construction. When completed, the carpool ramps will connect southbound U.S. 95 to southbound I-15 and northbound I-15 to northbound U.S. 95. It’s all part of Project Neon, a widening of the Spaghetti Bowl interchange at I-15 and U.S. 95.
When will it end?
The “Big Squeeze” is expected to relax its grip on motorists navigating the Spaghetti Bowl in January 2018, 10 months from today.
The total cost of Project Neon is projected to be $1 billion. The Nevada Department of Transportation has spent $150 million so far, with another $150 million expected to be spent over the next 10 months on the “Big Squeeze” and other project work. Project Neon is primarily funded by state revenue bonds, which will be retired with federal money. Las Vegas is contributing about $75 million in locally obligated federal highway funds.
Worst times to travel
Roughly 219,000 vehicles use the impacted stretch of highway daily. Up to 10,000 vehicles drive through the area during the weekday morning commute from 6 to 10 a.m. and the evening commute from 4 to 7 p.m. Nevada Transportation Department officials said it is “impossible to determine how far traffic backups could reach” because they can’t predict how commuters will alter their daily commute plans or react to zipper merging — a scheme that requires motorists to converge at the last possible second and alternate turns.
Recommended alternate street routes to get around construction include Valley View Boulevard, Decatur Boulevard and Rancho Drive for southbound traffic, and Las Vegas Boulevard and Eastern Avenue for northbound drivers. Expect those routes to be crowded as well, particularly at peak travel times.