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Leaving Las Vegas? Here’s when the I-15 could be expanded at the NV-CA state line

With the addition of a third lane, state governments hope to reduce traffic jams between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 8:58 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Drivers on Interstate-15 heading south out of Las Vegas near the Nevada-California border saw a traffic delay as long as one hour and 15 minutes on Memorial Day. This led many frustrated drivers to question when exactly the I-15 would be expanded, as California officials promised last December.

“I think it would be a good idea to have another lane,” one driver we spoke to Monday said.

As such, FOX5 obtained an update from Caltrans officials on the timeline of the I-15 expansion:

“The Caltrans contract has recently gone out to bid, and the goal is to open the first phase of the project, the expanded transition section, by late summer. We will have more clarity on the project timeline once the contractor is onboard,” said Emily Leinen, Public Information Officer for the State of California’s Department of Transportation.

Leinen confirmed Caltrans is still working with the Nevada Department of Transportation “to deliver a project that will help improve operations of Interstate-15.”

The project was originally slated to be done by Independence Day 2022. Newsom told FOX5 in December, “It will be done by this summer. You’re holding me to account. It’s on me to get it done by this summer.”

Both truckers and tourists alike are cautiously optimistic that the slated expansion will improve things.

“The fact that they’re doing this is something that is welcome. So I’ll give them some leeway on the timing,” said Paul Enos, CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association.

“That sounds good,” said another driver we spoke to Monday. “Sounds like it’ll make the travel a little better.”

“That would be very clutch for them to do so,” said another traveler. “If they can get it done, more power to them. Ya know? That’d be bringing in more business, more people, you know what I mean? Having everything moving smoother and faster.”

Governor Gavin Newsom, D-California, said California will finally widen the bottleneck at state line by using the shoulder as a third lane during peak hours. He said this will result in some repaving and restriping.

The move comes after years of inaction from California government officials, despite outcries of frustration from local leaders.

Presently, the interstate goes from three lanes on the Nevada side, down to two, during the first handful of miles on the California side.