CONEXPO 2017 was set in fast-growing Las Vegas, where the Nevada Dept. of Transportation, 100 years old this year, “has $3 billion in road projects underway in Clark County alone,” said Tony Illia, NDOT public information officer.
“One of the department’s first purchases was a CASE 15-ton steam roller in 1937, and it now has a fleet of more than 650 vehicles and 2,000 pieces of heavy equipment,” maintaining 1,200 bridges and nearly 14,000 lane miles, he noted. Work has been spurred by 118% growth since 1990.
Funding for the work includes $1.9 billion over five years from federal sources, plus recently approved fuel-revenue indexing in the county—a 10-year extension of a trial that will produce $3 billion for road construction. NDOT also is requesting just under $1.4 billion in state funding for FY 2018-19.
Major projects in progress include the $83-million first phase of Interstate 11 between Phoenix and Las Vegas—the two largest cities in the U.S. that are not now linked by an interstate—and the $47-million Centennial Bowl Interchange on U.S. 95. Also, after 20 years in planning, NDOT is “finally delivering” on the $1-billion Project Neon, the state’s largest transportation project, widening 3.7 miles of I-15 in the heart of Las Vegas, said Dale Keller, project manager for the agency. With 300,000 vehicles per day on the corridor, there are “25,000 lane changes an hour and up to three accidents a day,” he said. Solutions include a first-of-its-kind HOV interchange and real-time, traffic-management gantries. The design-build team of Kiewit and Atkins submitted a “very aggressive schedule—almost 300 days faster than what we had expected,” said Illia.