NDOT Breaks Ground on Project NEON, Largest Construction Job in State History
LAS VEGAS, NEV. – The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), along with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and City of Las Vegas, today broke ground on “Project NEON” – the state of Nevada’s largest and most expensive public works project ever undertaken during its 152-year history.
Legendary Las Vegas singer and entertainer Wayne Newton made a surprise appearance during the groundbreaking ceremony festivities, which included several state and local elected officials and dignitaries. Project NEON represents a nearly $1 billion total investment that will create 4,000 high-paying local jobs as well as numerous opportunities for disadvantaged business enterprises.
“This critical investment ensures that we meet the state’s growing infrastructure needs while generating thousands of well-paying local jobs that will stimulate Nevada’s economy,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “Project NEON will greatly improve traffic congestion, motorist safety and commuter delays, thereby improving the quality of life for all Nevadans as well as improving visitor experiences in our state.”
Project NEON will widen 3.7 miles of Interstate 15 between Sahara Avenue and the “Spaghetti Bowl” interchange in downtown Las Vegas. It’s currently the busiest stretch of highway in Nevada with 300,000 vehicles daily, or one-tenth of the state population, seeing 25,000 lane changes per hour. Traffic through the corridor is expected to double by 2035.
Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. is the general contractor under a $559.4 million design-build contract, which carries up to $20 million in early completion incentives plus millions in potential late penalties. Atkins North America Inc. is the project’s lead designer.
“Construction will finish nearly a year earlier than anticipated for nearly $80 million in time savings for local taxpayers, thanks to the design-build approach,” said NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon. “The project’s accelerated schedule still maintains local street accessibility for residents and businesses during construction.”
The centerpiece of Project NEON is an 81-foot-tall, 2,606-foot-long High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) flyover bridge from southbound U.S. 95 to southbound I-15 that also accommodates carpool traffic from northbound I-15 to U.S. 95 northbound. The project additionally converts the two existing I-15 express lanes into a general purpose and HOV lane, thereby creating 22 consecutive miles of carpool lanes between I-15 and U.S. 95. The HOV lanes will allow carpoolers and rapid transit downtown Las Vegas access with the Neon Gateway interchange between Charleston Boulevard and Oakey Avenue.
In addition, the project will create a full diamond interchange at Charleston Boulevard for easier access to downtown, the Medical District and Symphony Park, and several “ramp braids” will reduce merge and weave traffic on Interstate 15. Meanwhile, Martin Luther King Boulevard will become a feeder-like roadway paralleling the I-15 for improved performance and accessibility.
Other planned upgrades include extending Grand Central Parkway over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks as well as connecting to Industrial Road for improved resort corridor access and mobility. There will also be aesthetic and landscape upgrades, dynamic message signs and improved drainage, among other things.
“Project NEON, upon completion in summer 2019, will reduce travel delays by 28 percent for a $110 million annual savings through increased productivity,” said Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman. “It will also improve air quality due to less idle time and vehicle exhaust while enhancing motorist safety from reduced merge and weave traffic.”
For more information, check-out the Project NEON website at www.NDOTProjectNeon.com; or Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages (@NDOTProjectNeon) for up to date information. There is also a project hotline available at: 702-486-0486; or in Spanish, at: 702-384-1694. Project NEON’s public information office will open in early May at 320 Wall Street, Las Vegas, 89102; office hours will be Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.