LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- For more than a decade, Las Vegas locals have heard about a high-speed rail line for ushering Californians to and from Las Vegas.

The pandemic caused even more delays; the latest company behind the project announced recently it'll wait until next year just to fund it.

Meanwhile, Californians keep pouring into Las Vegas, and vehicle traffic seems as bad as ever at the state line on weekends. It's an issue wherein Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman is calling for change.

Goodman said the need is dire for California to put money into widening Interstate 15 from Barstow to the Nevada state line.

"Oh, without question," said Goodman about whether or not the traffic is a tourism deterrent. 

Drivers often wait seven hours or more in the traffic on Fridays and Sundays, and it routinely backs up at least 10 to 15 miles. With Las Vegas operating to near pre-pandemic levels, it doesn't appear fewer cars will be on the route any time soon.

"The volume is trending upward," said Tony Illia, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

The traffic is even causing desperate drivers to go to unsafe lengths. Nevada Highway Patrol ticketed 80 drivers for driving on the shoulder or off-road on Memorial Day weekend, and those are just the ones who got caught.

NDOT points the blame for the back-up on California.

"The issue really lays with capacity on the California side, where lanes squeeze down," said Illia.

On the Nevada side, three lanes exist, but that road minimizes to just two lanes once the interstate crosses into California.

"They're really crippling everybody," Goodman said.

She expressed frustration with the apparent lack of attention on the issue.

Primm traffic

"This has been a 10-year effort," Goodman said. "We need to make that happen. But of course it's California's side, so all we can be doing is with our director of NDOT, the Nevada Department of Transportation, is try to work with Caltrans to tell them, 'You don't care about your tourists coming to Las Vegas, but you sure care about the freight moving to the rest of the country.'"

Goodman added that she'd like any Californians to be involved, to "put the pressure on their political structure."

She's trying to show California officials that their freight lines are being clogged.

"To move the freight out of Long Beach, San Diego and L.A.," Goodman said. "And that's a reason enough for California, with the funds that they get from taking those stockpiles and moving them across country."

Goodman also said Las Vegas locals could help.

"Ask their representatives to be vocal to the California government influence there, and to do as much as they can encourage this. But they're not gonna get anything on it if they don't satisfy the bigger picture," she said. "We will continue to work to have California understand the issues they're doing. Really this is no brainer. This is moving all that stuff in your harbors, they need it back east and in the central part of the country, and they're gonna do nothing but make money while doing it."

Caltrans did not respond to requests for an interview. 

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(4) comments

Driver in Las Vegas

I am not a fan of our Mayer. She made similar moves at the beginning of the pandemic. The governor Said close the city.... She offered to shut down the dog parks. In this case, The California Nevada border is fine. However That stadium could've been put anywhere, but the city decided to put it on I-15 right next to several major hotels and the Airport, which was a brilliant move on its own. But the Smart doesn't stop there. Why not make sure there is no parking whatsoever for said stadium. Then when there is a problem we can just blame California. Any excuse to blame California for our mistakes is a good excuse. I've said my piece. I will not be voting for her in the next election.

jinvegas

The mayor gets 1 vote just like the rest of the city council members. No more, no less. The Clark County Commission was in charge of Allegiant Stadium planning and zoning. Perhaps before you start casting "smart" stones, you could educate yourself on the issues. Informed voting matters.

Silvermane

Good luck. CA is so mismanaged that they can't even keep the power on.

Driver in Las Vegas

Mayor, wow sorry.

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