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November 12, 2019 4:30 PM, EST

Las Vegas Bridge Project Reaches Halfway Point

Centennial Bowl bridge in Las VegasThe bridge will connect U.S. Route 95 and county Route 215 in the northwest part of Las Vegas. (NDOT)

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The Nevada Department of Transportation recently announced its connector bridge project in Las Vegas is halfway to completion.

The flyover will connect U.S. Route 95 and county Route 215, known as the Las Vegas Beltway, in the northwest part of the city. NDOT announced construction had reached the midway completion point Nov. 8.

U.S. 95 is an important north-south route and passes straight through Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Beltway, made up of county Route 215 and Interstate 215, loops three-quarters of the way around the city.

“This new interchange connection, upon completion, will greatly enhance traffic, mobility and motorist safety,” NDOT spokesman Tony Illia said. “Currently, over 107,500 vehicles daily travel the ramps and freeways at U.S. 95 and the 215 Beltway, and it’s only expected to grow in the future.”

Centennial Bowl bridge construction

The bridge project employs 150 workers and is expected to be finished in November 2020, according to Nevada DOT. (NDOT)

At 2,635 feet, the bridge is Nevada’s second-longest span. The longest is the I-515 viaduct between Eastern Avenue and I-15 in downtown Las Vegas, which stretches 1.6 miles.

Constructed from cast-in-place concrete, the box girder bridge will provide one travel lane in each direction. The concrete was pumped into molds and cured to reach maximum structural strength. A skeleton of rebar and steel cables supports it internally. The structure requires 18,900 cubic yards of concrete, which is enough to fill six Olympic-size swimming pools.

According to NDOT, this undertaking employs 150 workers and is expected to finish in November 2020. NDOT works with Waze to inform travelers about planned road restrictions, although unscheduled closures are possible.

The bridge is part of the larger $73 million Centennial Bowl interchange project, which broke ground in January. The Centennial Bowl project is meant to improve mobility at the intersection of U.S. 95 and the Las Vegas Beltway.

“The flyover ramps will enable direct freeway-to-freeway connections while still maintaining highway travel speeds for greater efficiency and safety,” Illia said. “The structures also eliminate the current stop-and-go surface street travel currently needed when navigating the interchange.”

Centennial Bowl bridge project

When the bridge is completed, it'll be Nevada's second-longest span at 2,635 feet. (NDOT)

The Centennial Bowl is one of several NDOT efforts to increase infrastructure capacity in southern Nevada.

NDOT completed work on Project Neon, the $1 billion upgrade to I-15 in Las Vegas, in July. The widening and revamp of ramps along a 3.7-mile segment of I-15, between U.S. Route 95 and Sahara Avenue, was the largest public works effort in the history of Nevada. Project Neon is expected to reduce travel delays by 28%, which will yield $110 million in annual savings through increased productivity.

In a partnership with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, NDOT built I-11, a 15-mile stretch that wraps around the southern perimeter of Boulder City — about 25 miles southeast of Las Vegas and home to the Hoover Dam. I-11 has become a popular bypass for freight haulers and motorists.

Nevada’s population is growing. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the state’s population has risen from 2.7 million in April 2010 to more than 3 million in July 2018, marking a 12% increase. Las Vegas is the state’s most populous city. The Census Bureau reported Las Vegas’ population topped 644,000 in 2018.

Beyond that, Las Vegas draws throngs of tourists every year. More than 42 million people visited in 2018, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

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