Motorists headed from the Las Vegas Valley to Hoover Dam will get to zoom along roughly 2 miles of the new Interstate 11 by the end of this month.
Opening up the small, southbound segment marks a big step toward completing the first leg of an international trade route that is expected to eventually ease cross-border trade from the Mexico border to Canada by running through Arizona, Nevada and Idaho.
Although a specific day isn’t determined yet, drivers headed south on U.S. Highway 93 will be directed onto the freshly laid concrete lanes of southbound I-11 near Railroad Pass Casino in Henderson, said Tony Illia, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation.
From there, vehicles will get to use a new 600-foot-long flyover bridge that connects I-11 with the overlapping U.S. Highways 93 and 95.
Unfortunately, there’s a catch for southbound drivers wanting to access the Railroad Pass Casino: You’ll have to pass your destination, and turn around about a mile away at the interchange where the U.S. 93 and U.S. 95 split, Illia said. Drivers headed north on U.S. 93 won’t get to use I-11, but traffic lanes will be slightly shifted so that crews can complete the freeway.
Construction of a 15-mile stretch of I-11 started in April 2015, with work split between the NDOT and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.
NDOT’s segment of I-11, running between Silverline Road and Foothill Drive in Henderson, is scheduled to open by the end of December. The RTC’s asphalt-covered section, spanning 12.5 miles headed to the Colorado River, will open in June 2018.
When completed, the four-lane highway is expected to reduce travel time up to 30 minutes between Henderson’s southern border and the O’Callaghan-Tillman Bridge downstream from Hoover Dam, all while looping past Boulder City.
Last week, Assemblyman Richard Carrillo, D-Las Vegas, said that sections of U.S. 95 will eventually have a dual designation with Interstate 11.
“It will provide a direct link between Southern and Northern Nevada, reduce miles traveled and it will be used by freight carriers,” Carrillo, who serves as chairman of the Assembly’s Transportation Committee, said during a dedication ceremony for the Centennial Bowl freeway interchange in northwest Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, a $5.3 million traffic study analyzing all of the valley’s major freeway corridors – including the next segment of I-11 – is expected to be completed by spring 2018.
Alan from Las Vegas said he recently drove along the Strip to catch a show, and had some difficulty making a turn into the parking lots for most of the hotels and casinos.
“The pedestrians do not give you a break, and the cars keep lining up,” Alan wrote in an email to the Road Warrior. “How hard would it be to install ‘walk/don’t walk’ signs to give cars a chance to enter the property?
Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin noted that nearly all of the Strip’s major resorts have a major driveway equipped with traffic signals and pedestrian crossing signals.
Pedestrian signals along heavily used roads like Las Vegas Boulevard must be accompanied by traffic signals, and Kulin said that there are no immediate plans to install more of either of those along the Strip.
For easier access, try entering Strip hotels and casinos from rear and side entrances that don’t abut Las Vegas Boulevard.
Solar sign fixed
Jeff from Las Vegas noticed that a solar-powered speed limit sign on Lake Mead Boulevard near Thomas W. Ryan Boulevard in Summerlin sometimes flashes, occasionally remains solid and was recently turned off.
“Is there some significance to this, or is it just broken?” Jeff asked the Road Warrior.
Your question prompted traffic maintenance crews to fix the sign earlier this month, Las Vegas city spokeswoman Margaret Kurtz said. The sign is used to reinforce the 35-mph speed limit along this section of Lake Mead Boulevard.
Michael from North Las Vegas wanted to know whether the city planned to repave Camino Al Norte, between Craig and Ann roads.
“It’s not so new anymore, and it’s starting to get a little rough,” Michael said.
There’s some good news and bad news, Michael. There aren’t any improvement projects planned for the southern section of Camino Al Norte, between Craig and Lone Mountain roads, North Las Vegas city spokeswoman Delen Goldberg said.
However, Goldberg said designs will start within the year for a road project on Camino Al Norte, between Ann and Lone Mountain roads. It’s unclear when construction will begin.
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